[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Languages
Last Updated: Thursday, 10 November 2005, 08:51 GMT
Fury at Kenya wild game shipment
Wildebeest in east Africa
No endangered species would be shipped, Kenyan authorities said
Conservationists are furious that Kenya has signed a deal with Thailand to hand over some 175 animals from game parks.

Kenyan authorities stressed none of the animals, including zebra, hippos and giraffe, would be endangered species.

But animal rights groups fear for the welfare of the animals during the 7,200km (4,470-mile) journey.

Thailand has agreed to provide wildlife management training and technical support. The Kenyan press is calling the deal the "animals-for-aid" scandal.

The International Animal Fund for Animal Welfare says selling off "Kenya's national heritage" was setting a dangerous precedent.

'Stress and injury'

Kenyan government spokesman Alfred Mutua told Reuters news agency that they were animals that the country had in abundance.

He said no rhinos or any animals protected under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (Cites) would be sent to Thailand.

He gave no date for the shipment's departure, but said the number of animals had been reduced from the 300 initially planned.

The animals will be sent to a zoo in the home town of Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, which is scheduled to open in April.

The deal was announced during Mr Shinawatra's official visit to the east African state, the first ever by a Thai prime minister.

Animal rights groups fear that the deal - reported to be worth $500,000 will put the wild animals' lives at risk and may threaten Kenya's tourist trade.

"We are concerned about the welfare of the animals, and the stress and risk of injury and death in their capture and transportation," Alice Owen of the London-based Born Free Foundation told Reuters news agency.


SEE ALSO:
Tracking the maneless lions of Tsavo
19 Sep 05 |  Science/Nature


RELATED INTERNET LINKS:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific