Uganda Acquires Sniffer Dogs to Curb Illegal Wildlife Trade

Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) has received a consignment of 6 sniffer dogs that will help curb wildlife contraband by detecting elephant ivory, ambulance rhino horns, hippo tusks and other disguised wildlife items.

The 6 dogs which were delivered Tuesday were donated by the Wildlife Conservation Society and the African Wildlife Conservation Trust, according to UWA Spokesperson Jossy Muhangi.

With funding from the two conservation bodies, the sniffer dogs underwent a 2 months training along with 12 Ugandan handlers in Arusha Tanzania prior to their importation.

In addition, UWA has established a canine unit facility at the Uganda Wildlife Education Center (UWEC) in Entebbe with modern dog kennels, accommodation units for dog handlers and stores for food.

“Our handlers will continue to train these sniffer dogs until December when we deploy them at the different entry and exit points to detect wildlife contraband,” Muhangi told ChimpReports in an interview on Wednesday.

“They (dogs) will supplement the efforts of the human intelligence capacity as well as the scanners by sniffing the luggage that might contain items like ivory despite how disguised it is packaged,” he added.

UWA hopes the dogs will help curb illegal wildlife trade
UWA hopes the dogs will help curb illegal wildlife trade

ChimpReports has also exclusively learnt that UWA plans to acquire tracker dogs that are trained to detect tracks of poachers from the scene to their location.

Poaching has been a major obstacle in Uganda’s endeavor to promote its wildlife tourism for many years.


The upsurge in illegal trade of wildlife contraband was largely due to Uganda’s porous borders, says UWA and that Asia remains the biggest market.

Ivory which is the most traded animal part is largely used in making valuable artifacts.

According to UWA, elephants, pangolins, rhinoceros and tortoises are the most poached species for their valuable parts while antelopes and buffaloes are killed for consumption.

“We have however made significant strides in reducing poaching over the years due to our widely spread intelligence personnel. Every protected area, areas surrounding national parks and urban centers where these items are sold has got intelligence staff,” Muhangi told ChimpReports.

This personnel coordinate with other agencies like URA, Interpol, UPDF, Uganda Police and Tourism Police to analyze the intelligence and act on it.

The number of elephants killed as a result of poaching has reduced from 25 in 2010 to less than 5 in 2015, says UWA.

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