Local enforcement officials have arrested three hunters and seized over 200 pounds of wild meat during a joint operation Thursday.
According to the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment, the operation at Burro-Burro to curb illegal hunting and fishing has been successful.
The joint operation was conducted by Ministry’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Iwokrama, the Fisheries Department and the Guyana Police Force. Burro-Burro River is near Iwokrama Rainforest Conservation. The conservation project covers a reserve of 371,000 hectares of rainforest but there have been reports of illegal hunting.
The team’s objective was to observe any fishing and hunting activity and to investigate and ascertain if it was commercial. “Upon investigation, a small aluminum boat was discovered on the right bank of the Burro Burro River with a generator powering a small freezer.”
Further investigations by the team found a significant quantity of wild meat in the freezer with evidence of powis being cleaned in the immediate vicinity.
The team subsequently detained three individuals and discovered several rounds of ammunition which one of the individuals was apparently attempting to hide.
“The police rank informed the three young men that they were hunting illegally for which they would be charged. (They) were accompanied to Kurupukari Police Outpost where the team made an inventory of all seized assets and stored appropriately.”
Approximately 13 labbas weighing 170 pounds and six powis, around 30 pounds, were found to be in the freezer.
The Ministry said that it will continue to collaborate with the various agencies to continue similar operations to protect endangered animals and indigenous communities that depend on hunting for a livelihood.
The release said that last Thursday, Minister Robert Persaud submitted to the National Assembly the Wildlife Import and Export Bill of 2013 to be enforced by the Wildlife Management Authority. He has also signed the Wild Management and Conservation Regulation of 2013 to be enforced by the EPA.
Wild meat is big business for a number of families and is popular especially for the many drinking spots.
However, Government has been moving to clamp down on the hunting of the animals which remain a source of food for many hinterland communities.
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