Alert / Media Alert

Shoot to kill if you see poachers – police chief tells rangers

MISA-Swaziland | Alert
January 31 2014

Swaziland’s police chief says game rangers are allowed to shoot anyone suspected of poaching wildlife.

Today’s Times of Swaziland reports the comments by police chief Isaac Magagula speaking to a group of traditional leaders in the land-locked southern African nation. 

“Animals are now protected by law and hunting is no longer a free-for-all, where anybody can just wake up to hunt game whenever they crave meat,” said Magagula in the Times of Swaziland.

“Of course, it becomes very sad whenever one wakes up to reports that rangers have shot someone. These people are protected by law and it allows them to shoot, hence it would be very wise of one to shun away from trouble,” added Magagula. 

The article says “the media had for a long time been peppered with reports of killings by rangers”, noting that human rights activists have condemned such killings. 

Commentators inside Swaziland have spoken against the “shoot to kill” policy, saying many people are not poaching large game, such as endangered black rhinos, but go hunting animals, such as warthogs, to feed themselves and their families. 

MISA-Swaziland’s advocacy officer Phakama Shili wrote an opinion piece, ‘Human Rights versus Animal Rights’, about this topic last year. Click here to read it. 

For comments or queries, please contact:
Vuyisile Hlatshwayo
MISA-Swaziland National Director

Email: misa.nd@realnet.co.sz

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