Malawi pushes for tougher ivory trafficking sentences

The Malawian parliament has submitted a bill that could triple the length of sentences handed down to ivory traffickers.

The country has lost more than 70 per cent of its elephants, and is listed as one of the world’s ivory trafficking hotspots. But now parliament is hoping to change that.

It’s a glossy video showing how much Malawians love elephants – And yet exposing how many have been killed.

For years, Malawi has been lenient on ivory traffickers – passing down small fines on those caught. But that could be about to change. Staff from this wildlife centre have teamed up with MPs and authorities, to help draft a new bill that will lead to much more severe punishments.

Saving Malawi and East Africa’s wildlife is a big job. But the authorities are pushing forward in other ways.

A few months ago Malawi burned nearly three tonnes of Tanzanian ivory and the Director of Wildlife told CCTV that he supports destroying all of Malawi’s stock.

Authorities say that ivory burns and tougher sentences are just the start and they are also targeting criminals of Lilongwe’s streets.

Dan Ashby reports