Wild animals have the right to live in their natural habitat free from fear, distress or pain. According to the National Parks and Wildlife Act (amended 2004) it is illegal to buy, sell, keep captive or kill any wild animal (or trade in any wildlife artefacts) in Malawi without a licence. Hurting or inflicting cruelty on wild animals is also illegal.
Many of our rescued animals were victims of the bush-meat and pet trade. We work with the Department of National Parks and Wildlife, the Police and Judiciary to ensure that wildlife crime is taken seriously and that the law is enforced. Parks officials are present at all our confiscations.
The international wildlife trade – fuelled by activities like elephant and rhino poaching for ivory and rhino horn and the smuggling of wild animals like serval cats as pets – is also a threat to Malawi’s wildlife. In 2013 we became a member of the Species Survival Network, committing us to the promotion and enforcement of CITES (the Convention on Int’l Trade in Endangered Species of Wildlife Fauna and Flora). We are increasing our campaign against international wildlife crime. For example we organised Malawi’s elephant march which culminated in the presentation of a petition to the government against the ivory trade.
In February 2014 our nationwide campaign against wildlife crime will go live. It includes TV, radio, press and billboard coverage to raise public awareness of the law, the consequences of involvement and the importance of keeping wildlife in the wild.
If you would like to report any cases of wildlife crime then you can contact the Wildlife Hotline – 0 88 44 88 999.