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UWA To Launch Canine Unit To Combat Wildlife Trafficking

UWA officials say the canine unit will help in detecting illegal shipment of Wildlife products through Uganda.
Specialised Vehicle For Sniffer Dog Unit Donated by the Wildlife Conservation Society To UWA. The Sniffer Dog Unit is expected to be operational in November This Year
Uganda is ready to set up its first canine unit at Uganda Wildlife Education Centre, Entebbe to deal with trafficking in wildlife products. Already a team of 12 staff from Uganda Wildlife Authority have completed 10 weeks training from Tanzania where the programme for the sniffer unit was first launched last year.

 

 

UWA officials say the canine unit will help in detecting illegal shipment of Wildlife products through Uganda. The initial target of the unit will be tracking ivory, pangoline scales and Rhino Horns. Jossy Muhangi, the Public Relations Manager at Uganda Wildlife Authority says Uganda Wildlife Education Centre has already donated land to set up the unit.

 

 

He says UWA will construct the Canine unit and staff houses. He says Uganda will receive six dogs to start with, which will be deployed at the Entebbe airport. He says they are targeting the cargo section through which most of the illegal wildlife products pass. Muhangi says Wildlife Conservation Society will donate three dogs and another three will be donated by the Africa Wildlife Foundation. 

He says with time, the unit will be stationed at all the entry and exit points of the country.  Today, Uganda Wildlife Authority received a specialized vehicle for the unit and plans are in place to purchase another one for the unit. Muhangi says the unit is ready to roll out operations in November. 

He says the staff are fully equipped with the knowledge to manage the unit and all they now need is a center. When asked about the cost of setting up the unit, Muhangi said he couldn't get the details but said they secured support from partner organizations to kick-start the unit.

                                                                         

Uganda has been identified as one of the main routes for smuggled ivory. Airport police and UWA have impounded more than five tons of ivory in the last four years and more than a ton of pangolin scales. 

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