Wildlife Division extends enforcement of ‘Close Season’ Ban to Eastern Region

Osino (E/R), The Wildlife Division of the Forestry Commission has extended its enforcement of the ban on the hunting of some Wildlife species in the country to the Eastern Region.

Some of the hunting areas visited are Osino, Kwaben junction and Anyinam-Akim.

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

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.

At most of the areas visited, some of the busy meat traders, who got wind of the team, took to their heels and those who had the license to trade stayed behind to meet the officials, whilst others openly confronted the team but after being educated on the need for the ‘close season’, they calmed down.

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, that the ban was to enable the spices to multiply through procreation for Ghanaians to get more meat.

He commended the media especially the Ghana News Agency, UTV and Peace FM for the support to create awareness on the ‘close season’ ban.

He said the exercise was to continually create awareness on the ban but a time would come when management of the Commission would start prosecuting people, who do not abide by the law.

He said during these types of exercises, meats seized on location were sold to any individual interested and a receipt issued before the money was deposited in government chest.

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 the grasscutter and the hunter needed a valid licence issued by the Division to do so.

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

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

Mr Emmanuel Antwi, a Bush Meat Trader told the GNA that most of them were aware of the ban and that, they were also waiting for the collaboration of the authorities to issue them the licenses.

He called on his colleagues to accept the ‘Close Season’ ban and advised hunters to obey the ban placed on hunting.

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 licences within the open season from December 2, 2017 to July 31, 2018.

Source: Ghana News Agency