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Forum raises concerns about poisoning of wildlife

A poison center is concerned about use of toxins to kill animals for muthi.

FILE: The illegal use of pesticides and other toxins used to kill wildlife has raised concerns. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The Griffon Poison Information Centre said the illegal use of pesticides and other toxins used to kill wildlife for traditional medicine is a grave concern.

The Predation Management Forum said 66 African white-backed vultures were poisoned in the Kruger National Park in May this year.

In 2012, mass poisoning of blue cranes in the Karoo was uncovered and just last week farmers reported that at least 16 brown hyenas had been deliberately poisoned in Limpopo.

It's believed that vultures are usually targeted for their heads and lions for their bones and used for muthi.

Griffon Poison Information Centre Director Gerhard Verdoorn says he's concerned.

"It's primarily committed by a very small group of individuals who in many cases might be foreigners coming into our wild life areas. It's not impossible to fight these people."