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General News
Ban on bushmeat: "Akrantie" Exempted 8/2/2007
This year''s annual "Close Season" banning the hunting of wild animals started yesterday, Wednesday, August 1 and would last until to December 1 2007. A statement by the Ghana Wildlife Division said there should be no hunting of wild animals with the exception of the grass-cutter during the period.

It said that the Close Season backed by the Wildlife Conservation Regulations L.I 685 of 1971, was to allow wild animals such as duikers, royal antelopes and bush pigs, the bulk of bush meat supply to breed during the period due to the growth of fresh vegetation.

The statement called on the public especially the police to arrest offenders by notifying the nearest office of the Division or the Forestry Commission.

"These animals together with the areas in which they are found, form the very basis for eco-tourism and we cannot continue to destroy them if tourism should really become the number one foreign exchange earner in Ghana," it said.

The Division noted that the non-observance of the Close Season undermined the sustainability and existence of wildlife, which could deprive Ghanaians of a valuable source of socio-economic development.

"The Wildlife Division of the Forestry Commission does not support a complete ban on bush meat. We believe that if the principle of the close season is well understood and observed in the same way that no one kills a pregnant goat, sheep, cow or brooding hen but waits for the mother to wean off the young, there would be surely continuous supply of bush meat," it said.

It explained that the grass-cutter was exempted because a study had shown that it was "a prolific breeder" and its inclusion could lead to over population with a possible negative impact on agricultural production.

The statement, however, reminded the public that the hunting of grass-cutters during the period required a license to ensure that chemical and other dangerous unorthodox means are not applied in hunting.

It urged the public not to patronise the sale of bush meat, dead, alive or smoked with the exception of grass-cutters to discourage hunting during the period.

"Remember that the wild animals are for both the present and future and that their continuing existence depends on each and every one of us," the Division stated.

Source:
GNA

 
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