Monday, February 04, 2008

300 Monkeys Illegally Exported to Russia

Over 300 monkeys have been exported to Russia by a private company, Navina Exports, using an expired licence.

This was exposed last Wednesday when Ronald Sendagire, a primate trapper, was arrested with 16 monkeys at Gerenge landing site on the shores of Lake Victoria in Wakiso.

The monkeys were loaded in sacks and some kept in cages, which attracted the attention of residents.

A witness said the trapper, after realising that he was in danger, called Yekoyada Nuwagaba, the managing director of Navina Exports.

The company was last year licensed to export 300 monkeys to Chumakov Institute of Poliomyelitis in Moscow, Russia.

As evidence to back his transaction, Nuwagaba produced a letter indicating the export was approved by the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA), but the letter had expired on December 31, 2007.

Two weeks ago, Nuwagaba exported 300 monkeys to the Russian institute.

UWA's acting chief, Sam Mwandha, said Nuwagaba erred in exporting monkeys using an expired licence.

He, however, added that the wildlife authority had verbally cleared Nuwagaba to collect more monkeys after the expiry of the licence, pending approval of his written proposal.

The Wildlife Act says trading in wildlife without a licence is an offence attracting a penalty of sh3m or imprisonment of not less than three months or both.

Story here.

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