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Tanzania backpedals on lifting ban on wildlife exports

In this photo taken Tuesday, March 20, 2018, tourists watch from their vehicle as giraffes and a zebra cross the road in Mikumi National Park, Tanzania.   -  
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Ben Curtis/Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.


Tanzania’s Natural Resources and tourism ministry revoked Sunday, a decision to allow exports of live wildlife.

The move came after the Tanzanian Wildlife Authority also known as TWA, which depends on minister Pindi Chana's ministry, said it would lift a 2016 ban on exports of wild animals.

The TWA announced the lifting of the ban would be for an initial six-month period for traders to "clear stocks of animals" that they were unable to sell under the ban.

However, the move triggered an uproar in the east African nation with many locals criticizing the decision and calling for a review.

Tourism Minister Pindi Chana backpedaled : "There will be no exporting of live animals as we consult further and until the government decides otherwise", she said.

Tanzania prides itself on being home to about 20% of the species of Africa’s large mammal population.

Ngo World Wide Fund cautioned that easing the ban should not undo gains made in protecting wildlife, amid fears it could trigger poaching which has declined in recent years.

Despite the 2016 ban, poaching continues to be a threat to protected species living in reserves.

In 2010, local reports indicated that at least 116 animals and 16 birds were illegally exported from Kilimanjaro airport in the north of the country aboard a Qatari plane.

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