Forest dept intensify checks to prevent wildlife smuggling

BANDERDEWA, Dec 29: Officials of the Banderdewa forest division have intensified checking at various forest check gates and entry routes to prevent smuggling of wildlife meat into the Capital Complex.
Stating that New Year days generally see a rise in wildlife meat smuggling, Divisional Forest Officer of Banderdewa Forest Division, Neelam Nedo, urged the public to report such illegal activities to the nearest forest office, the police, and the civil administration. He also urged them to cooperate with the enforcement authorities during checking drives.
Under the Wildlife Protection Act, hunting, killing, possession, and dealing in meat, trophies, carcasses, and articles of wildlife including animals, birds, reptiles, insects, plants, etc, are punishable offences with a quantum of punishment up to 7 years imprisonment and a hefty fine, or both, the DFO cautioned.
He appealed to the citizens to join hands with the department in sensitizing the transport sector, especially Sumo taxi drivers, not to accept and transport such items from unknown persons.
He said transporters and Sumo drivers would be held guilty and prosecuted if they are caught with unclaimed wildlife meat, animals, and articles during search operations.