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Zimbabwe’s elephant exports are legal says world body

Despite all the brouhaha about Zimbabwe exporting baby elephants, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES),  the world body that sets the rules for trade in live animals, says Harare has done nothing wrong. The exports are legal. And there is nothing CITES can do about it. “There’s no authority under the convention and international law to stop this trade. The rules put in place by the parties under the convention provide that the Zimbabwe population of African elephants is under Appendix II.  There’s no international court you can go to to seek an injunction to stop an individual trade transaction. The secretariat has no authority to intervene. The philosophy that underpins the convention is: international cooperation and national action,” CITES secretary general John Scanlon told the National Geographic. Zimbabwe intends to export elephants to the United Arab Emirates. Tourism Minister Walter Mzembi argues that Zimbabwe has more than 80 000 elephants but only has a capacity for 42 000 elephants. Conservationists say it has only 22 000 elephants.


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