Officials crack down on illegal hunters
DİYARBAKIR - Anadolu Agency
AA photoThe Forestry and Water Affairs Ministry has launched new efforts to prevent hunters from illegally harming wildlife.
The Nature Conservation and National Parks Directorate, General Directorate of Forests, gendarmerie, police, village heads and honorary hunting inspectors have joined hands to support an effective fight against illegal hunters.
In addition to work on the scene, teams have begun scrolling through social media to find images of illegal hunting that can be subject to legal proceedings.
In the eastern and southeastern provinces of Diyarbakır, Mardin, Siirt, Elazığ, Batman and Bingöl, 326 people who illegally hunted animals such as partridges, goldfinches, wild ducks, rabbits, wild boar, raptor birds, antelopes, deer, wild goats and quails have been assessed fines totaling 463,368 Turkish Liras ($132,000).
In Bingöl and Batman, eight people were handed a total fine of 329,565 liras ($94,000) for destroying the onions of orchids, which are used in salep production and have been placed under protection because the plant is at risk of extinction.
Penalties for prohibiting the destruction of wildlife and plant diversity by illegal hunting are determined by the Hunting Commissions of the Forestry and Water Affairs Ministry according to game and plant species.
Punishments alone are not enough for the protection of wildlife. For wild animals that have difficulty in finding food in snowy and cold weather, tons of wheat, clover, grass and bone are left in nature every year by teams from the Nature Conservation and National Parks Directorate.
“The reason for our sanctions is to protect the generations of wild animals and provide sustainable hunting,” said Ercan Turan, head of the Batman Nature Conservation and National Parks Directorate.
“Our aim is to prevent animal slaughter. We educate hunting enthusiasts in our institution, and we train new generations in this sense. In Batman, 18,500 students in 56 schools have been educated on wildlife sustainability. No one can hunt animals as they wish, or else they will be punished,” he added.