Ghana’s annual ban on hunting begins
The annual ban on hunting, otherwise known as “close season”, has began and would end on Monday, December 1, 2009, according to a statement from the Wildlife Division of the Forestry Commission.
The statement said the annual ban on hunting of wildlife throughout the country was a regulatory mechanism backed by the Wildlife Conservation Regulations L. I. 685 of 1961, which specified that during the four-month period, there should be no hunting of all wild animals with the exception of the grasscutter.
It said the essence of the ban was to offer respite and breeding time for wild animals such as duikers, royal antelopes, and bush pigs, which supply the bulk of bush meat.
“As the rains have encouraged the growth of fresh vegetation, food supply is abundant and the young ones can be successfully recruited into the next generation,” the statement said.
It warned that the non-observance of the close season would undermine the sustainability and eventual existence of wild animal populations, thereby depriving Ghanaians of a valuable source of development.
The statement said even though grasscutter hunting was permitted during the close season for very genuine reasons, hunters needed to obtain valid licences to hunt them.
“This way the use of chemicals and other dangerous or unorthodox means can be monitored and curtailed,” the statement added.
It appealed to the public not to patronise any other bush meat, dead, alive or smoked except for grasscutters during the close season.
“We are also appealing to all and sundry, especially the police, to help arrest and prosecute such offenders by notifying the nearest Wildlife Division and Forestry Commission offices,” it said.
During the season, awareness creation would be intensified at Techiman in the Brong-Ahafo Region, where the largest market for bush meat is located.