Daily Guide, Nathaniel Yankson, August 03, 2009
The Wildlife Division of the Forestry Commission says it is illegal for persons to possess and keep wild animals like snakes as pets in their homes unless a permit has been issued by the Executive Director of Wildlife, formerly Chief Game and Wildlife Officer. It is also a breach of the law to use them for trade such as money doubling or ‘sakawa’ and for other spiritual purposes without permission from the same authority.
The measure is to protect all non-domesticated animals from being collected, killed, trapped or traded. Licenses obtained to deal in any of the aforementioned are not transferable and expires in a period of six months.
It is clearly stipulated in the amended Wildlife Conservation Regulations of 1971 (L.I. 685) that the Executive Director, in granting a license under this section, would indicate the conditions under which the wild animal should be kept in terms of feeding and other things required by law.
“Any person who contravenes any of the provisions or regulation 6A or 6B, commits an offence and shall on conviction be liable to a fine or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding twelve months or both,” it said.
According to Mrs. Vivian Nuhu, Public Relations Manager at the Wildlife Division, the type of snakes allegedly being used as money producing machines is the Royal Python.
Speaking to DAILY GUIDE about the recent mysteries surrounding the infamous ‘sakawa’ business, she pointed out that due to its calm nature, mallams, magicians and other spiritualists, used them as baits to swindle innocent but hungry-for-money individuals.