Clear views from above

Pilotless aircraft to help protect the environment
By Victor Novodelov

The most suitable pilotless aircraft are being selected and adjusted to suit specific needs, being noiseless, able to offer video surveillance night and day and to provide long-distance focusing — to allow exact identification of poachers’ faces, as well as their weapons and car number plates. Those who currently steal animals and fish tend to work in groups, at night, using underhand means.

Sergey Novikov, the Head of the State Animal and Plant Protection Inspectorate, has informed journalists of plans to technically re-equip his department. Since being set up a decade ago, on January 27th, 2003, by special Presidential decree (which granted special status to the service) the Inspectorate has moved with the times to use the most efficient methods possible to end the ‘illegal outrage’ of poaching — as Mr. Lukashenko calls it.

The results are obvious, as the number of wild animals has almost doubled while the number of violations has more than halved (from 25,000 to 11,000). The illegal nets confiscated would twice cover the country’s perimeter, stretching 7,500km. As Mr. Novikov notes, his service aims to preserve nature for future generations. Fines for those caught hunting illegally are set at up to 100 base units and can lead to imprisonment.
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