THE sale of elephant dung as a so-called cure for COVID-19 has skyrocketed, with prices going up significantly despite warnings from officials that the big animal waste product does not treat the virus.
Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism spokesperson, Romeo Muyunda, said apart from the belief that the dung treats coronavirus, people also use elephant dung as traditional medicine and that this has resulted in a high demand.
Muyunda, however, cautioned that no one is allowed to pick elephant dung in a national park without a permit.
Collecting of elephant dung elsewhere outside protected areas is, however, not restricted, although the sale of the dung is discouraged.
“We want to caution collectors to do so safely and without harming the animals,” he said.
Namibia police General Sebastian Ndeitunga said legally, people cannot be charged for being in possession of elephant dung, unless they are found inside national parks without permits.
“An elephant is a protected animal, but there is no law protecting elephant dung,” he said, adding that the police cannot stop the sale of the dung.