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General News of Sunday, 31 July 2005

Source: GNA

Police asked to arrest offenders on Wildlife ban

Accra, July 31, GNA - The Wildlife Division of the Forestry Commission on Friday appealed to the public, especially the police to arrest and prosecute people who would flout the annual ban on hunting wild animals during the period commonly known as the "Close Season," which starts on August 1,2005.

A statement issued in Accra by the Wildlife Division said the ban on the hunting of wildlife throughout the country was a regulatory mechanism backed by the Wildlife Conservation Regulations L.I.685 of 1961, which requires that during the four months of August to December each year there should be no hunting of wild animals with the exception of grass-cutters.

The statement said the essence of the ban was to offer respite for wild animals such as duikers, antelopes, and bush pigs among others, which supply the bulk of bush meat and would be breeding about that time, especially as the rains would encouraged the growth of fresh vegetation and "young ones could successfully be recruited into the next generation."

It said the Division does not ascribe to a total ban on bush meat but believes that the principles of the "Close Season" would be understood and observed in the same way that no one kills a pregnant goat /cow or brooding hen but waits for the mother to wean off the young. It said the continuous supply of bush meat would go a long way to help those in the trade such as hunters, traders as well as those in the culinary service who could be sure of earning a living at all times and thereby reducing poverty.

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