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Ban on hunting takes effect


5 August 2008 Science News

Ban on hunting takes effect
Gabriel Amoah , 05/08/2008

Statistics available to The Statesman in Kumasi from the Wildlife Division of the Forestry Commission reveals that annual volume of bush meat estimated at 384,992 tons valued at 350 million dollars is harvested in Ghana as against the total annual consumption which also estimated at 225,287 tons and valued at 205 million dollars.  

The Executive Director of the Wildlife Division of the Forestry Commission, Nana Kofi Adu-Nsiah who announced this at the launch of 2008 Close Season on hunting in Kumasi at the weekend noted that bush meat is also a trade item that contributes significantly to household incomes and the economy through income generation and protein production.

According to him, the illegal trend of bush hunting in the Ashanti region and beyond was seriously affecting gaming and that efforts must be intensified by all particularly traditional rulers and the various District Assemblies to stem the trend.

Nana Adu-Nsiah noted that under legislative provisions, hunters are required to obtain and pay for a license to hunt during the designated hunting season, adding "group hunting is outlawed and that different species are given varying degrees of legal protection through their inclusion in appropriate legislative schedules".

The Executive Director stated that the "Wildlife Conservation Regulations L. I. 685 required that during the four months of August 1 to December 1 each year; there should be no hunting of wild animals with the exception of the grass cutter".

He said the Wildlife Division was responsible for licensing and enforcing regulations throughout the country and that bush meat traders were required to operate under the license issued by District Assemblies, however warning that meat traders will be severely dealt with if they flout regulations government gaming.

He said non-observance of the Close Season would undermine the sustainability and eventual existence of wild animals thereby depriving Ghanaians of a valuable resource for development.

Nana Adu-Nsiah asked the public not to patronize the sale of bush meat, dead, alive or smoked except for grass cutters so that hunters would find it uneconomical to hunt those animals during the close season.

He appealed to the Police and traditional rulers to arrest offenders by notifying the nearest Wildlife Division and other Forestry Commission Offices.

Some of the chop bar operators at the function charged the Commission to do well to intensify its educational campaign to sensitise them as to the time and what type of game they should hunt in order not to fall prey to the law.

http://www.thestatesmanonline.com/pages/news_detail.php?newsid=6944§ion=1

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