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General News of Thursday, 21 September 2017

Source: ghananewsagency.org

Wildlife Division enforces ‘Close Season’ Ban


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The Wildlife Division of the Forestry Commission has embarked on an exercise to enforce the ban on hunting of Wildlife in the country.

The ban, which is to enforce the ‘close season’ is an effort to halt the fast declining population of Wildlife species.

The ‘close season’ took effect from August 1 till December 1 and it is to protect Wildlife in line with the Wildlife conservation regulations L.I 685 of 1971.

Mr Joseph Oppong, the Public Relations Manager, Wildlife Division of the Forestry Commission, told the GNA after the exercise in collaboration with the Rapid Response Team of the Commission was to see how the public was responding to the ban put on hunting.

He said the Division had observed that the education on the ‘close season’ had gone down well with the public.

He said some of the hunters whose licences had expired and needed to be renewed explained that, they were waiting for the staff of the Division to issue them with new ones.

“We are happy most of them are aware of the ban,” Mr Oppong said.
He said during the ‘close season’ the only animal that could be hunted was grasscutter and with that the hunter needed a valid licence issued by the Division.

Mr Oppong explained that there were two licences issued by the Division made up of the hunting licence for hunters and the busy meat trading licence for people selling the meat.

He said during the period, the capturing or destruction of any Wildlife species was absolutely prohibited.

Madam Vivian Ayi-Addo, Assistant Wildlife Officer, Mumi-Pomadze Ramsar Site, Winneba, said the Division usually visited the hunters to issue them with licence but if they were not able to go, they advise the hunters to come to their office instead.

She said the Division’s staff strength in the Region was low, so sometimes they found it difficult to cover all the areas but was quick to add that they were doing their best to serve everybody.

The exercise took the team to Winneba-Mankessim road, where they met one Kweku Baah, who told the GNA that he was yet to renew his licence. All the other hunters and meat traders said they had to renew their licences to operate.

A statement issued by the Division appealed to the public, particularly both commercial and leisure hunters, to be mindful of the ban and be circumspect during the open season and also advised hunters to obtain the relevant licence within the open season from December 2, 2017 to July 31, 2018.

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