British soldiers to wage war on rhino poachers

29 May 2018 - 09:31 By Timeslive
British prime minister Theresa May announced this month that Britain would ban the sale of all ivory items‚ regardless of their age.
British prime minister Theresa May announced this month that Britain would ban the sale of all ivory items‚ regardless of their age.
Image: 123RF/Jacoba Susanna Maria Swanepoel

Britain is sending soldiers to southern Africa to help save endangered rhinos from poachers.

Defence minister Gavin Williamson said about 24 troops would arrive in Malawi next month and spend several weeks training park rangers in counter-insurgency tactics learnt from fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Williamson told MailOnline the “evil trade” in endangered species such as rhino “poses an existential threat to the planet’s most majestic mammals - it is our duty to preserve them for future generations”.

Major James Cowen‚ who will lead the Malawi troops‚ told the website: "We’re enthusiastic about this mission because it represents a real opportunity to pass on our expertise and build partnerships with counterparts who are working night and day to help protect these animals.”

Previous operations have focused on elephants‚ and British prime minister Theresa May announced this month that Britain would ban the sale of all ivory items‚ regardless of their age.

The maximum penalty for breaching the ban will be an unlimited fine or five years in jail.

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