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Wildlife Minister plans to tighten laws against wildlife criminals

25 August 2020 12:06 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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  • Those who lay snares will be punished as per the Penal Code  
  • Introducing a mechanism for people to report wildlife crimes 

By Kamanthi Wickramasinghe 

Minister of Wildlife and Forest Conservation C. B. Ratnayake said that those who lay snares will be given maximum punishment as per the Penal Code. “In addition to that if a person is found guilty of shooting an animal inside a protected area, the fine will be increased by threefold. We also have to look at the human-elephant conflict that has affected both humans and elephants alike. One of the main reasons is because they are deprived of drinking water. The lakes have dried off and therefore they move towards human settlements in search of food as well as water. So we will look at conserving the lakes as well.”   

He further said that the Ministry had maintained poor communication channels and therefore most wildlife crimes go unreported. “We are going to implement a mechanism so that people can report wildlife crimes to us. For this task we will get respective divisional secretariats and community police divisions involved. In the near future we will introduce a hotline as well. On the other hand we have to look at improving facilities for Wildlife Department staff. We plan on strengthening the patrolling unit and investigate on corruption that has taken place within the Department at an individual level irrespective of hierarchy.”      

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