Hunting is for decent hunting

By Dmitry Krymov

Hunting and fishing ceased to be vital long ago but were once the only way to feed ourselves. Some people’s passion for hunting and fishing continues however, perhaps fuelled by instinct. Of course, these days, we cannot simply take what we like from our forests and lakes, since such areas often fall under state protection.

The President recently took part in a discussion, inviting representatives from every level; after all, fishing is enjoyed by everyone at some time in their life. The development of new rules for hunting and fishing was the main issue, with Mr. Lukashenko requesting wide-spread public discussion before any decision be made. Countrywide discussions have been used to draft a new document, for submission to the President.

Mr. Lukashenko noted, “The same rules should apply to everyone, and be clear and easily understandable, without loopholes for dishonest people. Everything we’ll consider today has been learnt from hunters, fishermen and our society...”

There are special requirements for those who organise hunting and fishing; they bear more responsibility than simply collecting payments and providing clients with comfortable conditions. They also need to maintain animal and fish levels. Mr. Lukashenko explained, “We lack substantial deposits of mineral resources so should do our best to protect the treasures generously bestowed by nature.”

Of the government’s programme for the development of hunting and fishing, until 2015, the President noted, “As I’ve been informed, the hunting programme aims to increase in number the main wild animal species. The fishing sector is more problematic, with many complaints of mismanagement of reservoirs, as well as poaching and other crimes.”

Mr. Lukashenko notes that current legislation is weak, saying, “We need to end all the red tape and confusion, creating a decree on the adoption of new rules for hunting and fishing. God forbid that you’ll find new loopholes and say that you need more legislation; you’ll have only yourself to blame. We should adopt decisions without compromise, using only a governmental approach.”

To sum up, we aim to simplify the system for diligent hunters and fishermen while strengthening our position against obvious infringement and realising potential revenue. Hunting permits will become available online, with all documents streamlined. Nobody has the right to enter woods carrying a gun unless they have applied for a permit; those attempting to do so will be classed as poachers. The new legislation makes it much harder for those acting illegally to find a loophole regarding intent. Meanwhile, leasing of grounds and reservoirs will become the remit of regional executive committees. At the same time, renewal of contracts will become easier for diligent tenants.

Some of the innovations will demand changes of administrative and criminal legislation, so the president has ordered that the necessary proposals be drawn up over the coming month.
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