General News Fri, 30 Jul 2010

Ban on hunting begins on August 1

Accra, July 30, GNA - The Wildlife Division of Forestry Commission on Friday announced the annual ban on hunting of wildlife "Close Season" throughout the country from Sunday, August 1 to Thursday, December 2.

A statement issued in Accra and signed by Mrs Vivian A. N. Nuhu, the Executive Director of the Division, said the ban was a regulatory mechanism backed by the Wildlife Conservation Regulations.

The regulation requires that during the four months, August 1 to December 1, each year, there should be no hunting of all wild animals with exception of the grass cutter.

"The essence is to offer respite for wild animals such as duikers, royal antelopes, bush pigs and other animals which supply the bulk of bush meat and would be breeding about that time, especially as the rains had encouraged growth of fresh vegetation, so food supply is abundant and young ones can be successfully recruited into the next generation, "it said.

The statement said non-observance of the "close season" would undermine the sustainability and eventual existence of wild animal populations and deprive Ghanaians of a valuable source of development.


However, it said the public should note that, the grass cutter was exempted because thorough study of this prolific breeder had been done and its inclusion might result in excessive populations with possible negative impact on agricultural production.

"However, one needs a licence to hunt grass cutters. This way, the use of chemicals and other dangerous or unorthodox means can be monitored ands curtailed," the statement added.

It called on the public not to patronise the sale of all bush meat, dead, alive or smoked except for grass cutters so that hunters would find it uneconomical to hunt these animals for the expected aim to be achieved.

The statement appealed to all and sundry, especially the police, to arrest and prosecute such offenders by notifying the nearest Wildlife Division and Forestry Commission.

Source: GNA