ABSTRACT AVAILABLE: Combating the Use of Cyanide Poison in Ivory Poaching

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Tue, Sep 13, 2022 10:30 PM

Combating the Use of Cyanide Poison in Ivory PoachingRichard Hoare, Chris
Foggin, Steve Alexander & Divine ChakomberaAfrican J. of Wildlife
ResearchJuly 1, 2022 Abstract

Malicious, commercial or retaliatory poisoning of wildlife is increasing
across Africa, including the killing of elephants (Loxodonta africana) to
supply the illegal ivory trade. Regional differences exist in the types of
poisons used by poachers and in Zimbabwe cyanide has become more commonly
employed in recent years – sourced illegally from its commercial use in the
gold mining industry. Cyanide is potent, so can be rapidly lethal in small
quantities and is also not too difficult or costly to source illegally. It
is therefore a relatively low-risk option for any ivory poacher, even
individuals not involved with criminal syndicates. On the positive side,
however, cyanide has far fewer bio-accumulative and cycling properties in
ecosystems than more frequently used poisons like pesticides. Detection and
subsequent proof in a court of law, of the illegal use of cyanide in
elephant carcasses, can be problematic to distinguish conclusively from
other causes of sudden death. Therefore, proactive strategies to combat
wildlife poisons are far more successful and the one proposed here against
cyanide provides a good model. It encourages the establishment of strong
intelligence networks to enable the arrest of poachers in possession of
poisons before they are deployed in the field, and effective application of
laws which now facilitate convictions for poaching. A key element in
prosecution under recently revised Zimbabwean laws is proving that illegal
possession of cyanide in the relevant circumstances includes the intent to
use it for ivory poaching. Zimbabwe's legal experience in this respect
could prove especially valuable to other countries facing similar threats
of poison being used illegally to kill any wildlife species.

ABSTRACT LINK
*https://bioone.org/journals/african-journal-of-wildlife-research/volume-52/issue-1/056.052.0090/Combating-the-Use-of-Cyanide-Poison-in-Ivory-Poaching/10.3957/056.052.0090.short?tab=ArticleLink
https://bioone.org/journals/african-journal-of-wildlife-research/volume-52/issue-1/056.052.0090/Combating-the-Use-of-Cyanide-Poison-in-Ivory-Poaching/10.3957/056.052.0090.short?tab=ArticleLink
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*Combating the Use of Cyanide Poison in Ivory PoachingRichard Hoare, Chris Foggin, Steve Alexander & Divine ChakomberaAfrican J. of Wildlife ResearchJuly 1, 2022 Abstract* Malicious, commercial or retaliatory poisoning of wildlife is increasing across Africa, including the killing of elephants (Loxodonta africana) to supply the illegal ivory trade. Regional differences exist in the types of poisons used by poachers and in Zimbabwe cyanide has become more commonly employed in recent years – sourced illegally from its commercial use in the gold mining industry. Cyanide is potent, so can be rapidly lethal in small quantities and is also not too difficult or costly to source illegally. It is therefore a relatively low-risk option for any ivory poacher, even individuals not involved with criminal syndicates. On the positive side, however, cyanide has far fewer bio-accumulative and cycling properties in ecosystems than more frequently used poisons like pesticides. Detection and subsequent proof in a court of law, of the illegal use of cyanide in elephant carcasses, can be problematic to distinguish conclusively from other causes of sudden death. Therefore, proactive strategies to combat wildlife poisons are far more successful and the one proposed here against cyanide provides a good model. It encourages the establishment of strong intelligence networks to enable the arrest of poachers in possession of poisons before they are deployed in the field, and effective application of laws which now facilitate convictions for poaching. A key element in prosecution under recently revised Zimbabwean laws is proving that illegal possession of cyanide in the relevant circumstances includes the intent to use it for ivory poaching. Zimbabwe's legal experience in this respect could prove especially valuable to other countries facing similar threats of poison being used illegally to kill any wildlife species. *ABSTRACT LINK* *https://bioone.org/journals/african-journal-of-wildlife-research/volume-52/issue-1/056.052.0090/Combating-the-Use-of-Cyanide-Poison-in-Ivory-Poaching/10.3957/056.052.0090.short?tab=ArticleLink <https://bioone.org/journals/african-journal-of-wildlife-research/volume-52/issue-1/056.052.0090/Combating-the-Use-of-Cyanide-Poison-in-Ivory-Poaching/10.3957/056.052.0090.short?tab=ArticleLink> *