Hunters advised to adhere to hunting regulations

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The Bono Regional Office of the Forestry Commission (FC), Wildlife Division, has urged hunters and traders in the bush meat value chain to adhere to the closed hunting season to ensure safety and protection of wildlife.

Mr Oliver Chelewura, the Principal Manager of the Division, gave the advice in an interview with the Ghana News Agency in Sunyani.

He said the Wildlife Division would soon start a vigorous operation and anyone found culpable of breaching the rules would be prosecuted.

Mr Chelewura said the season was an annual programme instituted by the Division to control the use of wildlife resources and backed by a Legislative Instrument (LI) 685 of 1971 mandating the Commission to conserve, regulate and protect these resources.

The ban, he said, started from August 1 and would end December 1 and during the period no one was allowed to hunt, capture and destroy any wild animal except that of grass cutters.

But, even with the grass cutters, hunters and traders must acquire license to be able to hunt and trade the animals in this period, Mr Chelewura added.

”Per research it is clear we have grass cutters in abundance in the country and if we are to hunt them the numbers will not dwindle, hence being exempted from the close season”, he clarified,

Explaining the rationale behind the closed-hunting season, Mr Chelewura said most of the wildlife gave birth and others got pregnant during that period and therefore killing the animals with the young ones would affect their population.

”During our operation, if we encounter anyone with bush meat that person would be arrested except covered by a license”, he cautioned.

He said culprits could be prosecuted, convicted and sentenced to either pay a fine or a prison term of not more than 6 months.

Mr Chelewura said the Division did not make any arrest during the previous closed-hunting season due to the constant education and sensitization offered to law-abiding bush meat sellers and hunters who came to the office to obtain a license.

“We therefore appeal to the security personnel at the barriers to check and ensure that during this period people do not trade in bush meat except grass cutter”, he said, adding that
those without license would be arrested.

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