The Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) has urged members of the public involved in private wildlife estates such as game ranch owners, golf clubs and all business houses that keep wild animals in captivity to submit their yearly returns and renewal of their certificate of ownership and permits to keep animals in captivity before the end of April, 2014.
ZAWA Communications and Public Relations Officer, Mwila Muliyunda, says this is a legal requirement under the Zambia Wildlife Act No 12 of 1998 and Statutory Instrument No 66 of 2004 for all private wildlife estates to renew all permits that pertain to keeping wild animals in captivity failure to which shall attract a penalty fee.
Mrs Muliyunda stated that non compliance may lead to closure of the private wildlife estates and disposal of wildlife animals on these properties as well as not being allowed to trade in any wild animal.
She said in a statement to ZANIS in Lusaka April 27th that ZAWA has of late been receiving numerous reports from people complaining especially of stray monkeys in neighbourhoods around Lusaka, saying just last week, the Authority received another report of a stray monkey which had found its way in somebody’s yard in Emmasdale.
Mrs Muliyunda said the monkey is suspected to have escaped from another house and ZAWA is undertaking investigations to find out who the owner is and ascertain whether that person has a valid permit of keeping wild animals in captivity as it is against the law to keep wild animals without a permit.
She revealed that most game ranch owners and other business houses which keep wild animals in captivity are currently operating illegally on expired licences.
The ZAWA Communications Officer stressed that the deadline for renewal of these licenses is December of every year.
Mrs Muliyunda said out of a total of about 245 game ranches, only about 120 have renewed their licences by the set deadline, while the rest are operating illegally on expired licences contrary to the Zambia Wildlife Act No12 of 1998 and Statutory Instrument No 66 of 2004.
She said among the important information required to be submitted alongside the application for renewal of certificate of ownership and permits to keep animals in captivity are the up-to-date annual returns, specifying all relevant aspects of biological and socio-economic parameters.
Mrs Muliyunda stated that failure to comply with the ZAWA Act will attract a penalty fee of 300 per cent of the ruling fees for the renewal of the necessary permits.
She further explained that failure to submit the returns and renew the permits will attract a penalty fee of not less than 500 per cent of the ruling fees for the renewal of the necessary permits.
She also said that annual returns submitted to ZAWA with incomplete data shall attract a penalty fee of not less than 200 percent.