Wildlife Division to enforce regulations against killing animals during closed season 

Wildlife Division

The Regional Office of the Forestry Commission (FC), Wildlife Division (WD) of the Bono Region, has announced the closure of the hunting season, spanning Tuesday, August 1 to Friday, December 1 this year.

Consequently, hunters, ‘chop bar’ operators and the public involved in the wildlife business have been advised to refrain from that activity because the office would deal with perpetrators engaged in the killing, capturing and trading of game and wildlife during the period.

Mr. Oliver Chelewura, the Principal Manager of the Division, gave the warning in an interview with the Ghana News Agency, stating that “the only animal permissible to hunt and trade during this season was grasscutter, provided it is done under a license issued by the Division.”

Mr. Chelewura explained that studies had shown that the grasscutter had the propensity to multiply excessively, leading to negative effects on agricultural production, hence being exempted from the closed hunting season.

He stated traders of game, popularly called ‘bush meat’ who already had stocks, had been given up to Tuesday, August 15, 2023, to sell their stock, because the Division would soon commence a joint operation with the Ghana Police Service to enforce the rules and prosecute anyone found breaching them.

The Division would also embark on monitoring exercises in wildlife-trade endemic areas to assess compliance levels to enforce the ban, Mr Chelewura emphasised

He said the closed season was an annual programme implemented by the Division to regulate the use of wildlife resources and backed by a Legislative Instrument (LI) 685 of 1971, mandating the Commission to conserve, regulate and protect those resources.

The season served to regulate the decline of wildlife resources in the country and ensure sustainable use, while serving as a breeding period, respite for the animals and allowing for young animals to be nurtured by their mothers, Mr. Chelewura added.

He said to ensure understanding and compliance, the Division had planned to organise an educational meeting for stakeholders and the public about wildlife protection and conservation, the measures and exemptions involved in the closed season.

Speaking on this year’s theme: “Climate Change Effect on Forest and Wildlife Resources,” Mr. Chelewura emphasised the need for measures such as planting more trees, stopping indiscriminate felling of trees, preventing bush burning, addressing illegal mining, promoting the use of clean and efficient energy and protecting wildlife.

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