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From now on, poachers can forget their traditional excuse of simply ‘finding’ sacks of meat in the forest

No hiding place for poachers

By Dmitry Umpirovich

From now on, poachers can forget their traditional excuse of simply ‘finding’ sacks of meat in the forest

New amendments have come into force, regarding some articles of the Criminal Code and the Code on Administrative Offences, on illegal hunting and fishing. Transportation of the meat of hoofed animals (in particular, roe, wild boar, deer and elk) is now to receive a fine in excess of 100 basic salaries.  Olga Gromovich, Press Secretary of the State Inspection for Fauna and Flora Protection, under the President, warns, “If illegally obtained hare is found in your car boot, you will be held responsible administratively. However, if you are caught ‘red-handed’ a second time, it will become a criminal offence. This will also be the case if you transport or dress the carcass of any animal listed in the Red Book, or which has been obtained from protected or radioactively polluted territory.”

The law will distinguish hunters from poachers
The law will distinguish hunters from poachers

Previous ‘gaps’ in legislation exploited by poachers have now been illuminated, so they cannot claim that they have simply ‘found’ meat. Where it was impossible to prove the contrary, the infringer was previously charged only with administrative responsibility, with a fine of 30 basic salaries.

Ms. Gromovich notes, “A recent similar case happened near the village of Lisichkino, in the Krupki District. Our state inspectors were with traffic police when they stopped a car holding three sacks with elk meat and a blood-stained axe. The owner of the car denied poaching, although his guilt was evident from the presence of the meat being divided into three ‘shares’: a sure sign of illegal hunting. Poachers tend to hunt together, then distribute duties, with some removing the meat and someone else the weapons.” Meanwhile, the Code on Administrative Offences states that it is illegal to be found within one kilometre of a riverbank with fishing tools or above a certain weight of fish, where the river has been designated as forbidden for fishing.
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