Kenya wildlife Service (KWS) rangers on Tuesday impounded 200 kilograms of buffalo meat near resort town of Naivasha located about 120 kilometers from the capital Nairobi and arrested three suspects.
Aggrey Maumo, KWS assistant director in charge of Central Rift Region said the impounded buffalo meat was destined for Nairobi for sale to unsuspecting consumers.
He said that KWS sleuths received a tip off from the public and managed to foil trafficking of the buffalo meat by unscrupulous traders.
The official said that illegal trade in game meat has spiked in Naivasha where mammals like zebras, buffaloes and giraffes roam freely in private ranches and protected areas.
“There are so many wild animals away from the parks and ranches and the unscrupulous traders are taking advantage of this to kill them and sell meat to unsuspecting customers,” said Maumo.
“Our intelligence indicates that majority of the game meat that finds its way in Nairobi’s Burma market is sourced from Naivasha and we are keen to contain the menace,” Maumo told reporters.
He said that KWS had forged a working relationship with local communities in a bid to identify criminals involved in poaching of large herbivores for their meat.
“The suspects have been targeting buffalo and zebra meat for commercial purposes but their days are numbered as we shall get them,” said Maumo, adding that KWS has formed a special team to crackdown on illegal trade in game meat.
Kenyan authorities have lately intensified action on unlicensed trade in game meat that has fueled poaching of iconic species.
A sting operation by KWS sleuths in late June led to impounding of 800 kilograms of bush meat at the popular Burma market that is located in a densely populated district in Nairobi.
According to Kenya‘s wildlife act, buying and selling of bush meat is a criminal offence that can attract a jail term of not less than three years without option of a fine. (Xinhua)