Liberia: FDA accuses Senator Botoe Kanneh of violating wildlife law
The Forestry Development Authority (FDA) has accused Gbarpolu County Senator Botoe Kanneh of undermining the implementation of the Liberian Wildlife Law.
FDA Ranger Ali Kais, who manages the agency’s confiscation and anti-smuggling unit, alleges that Senator Kanneh continues to interfere with the implementation of the Privacy Protection Act. wildlife.
According to him, Senator Kanneh and his bodyguards attacked rangers at Sawmill Check Point on Monday this week, when a suspect was arrested for carrying 17 pieces of dried bush meat (Monkey), including a baby monkey. living.
Ali notes that Senator Kanneh’s alleged action poses a serious threat to ranger operations to protect wildlife across the country.
He reveals that recently the Rangers were attacked at VOA Junction in Brewerville by Senator Kanneh and his bodyguards after eight bags of bushmeat were confiscated at Janet Check Point, but they were subsequently forcibly taken away. .
He recalls that Liberia is a signatory to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) which aims to protect wildlife here.
He says that “a law enacting the National Law on Wildlife Conservation and Protected Areas Management of Liberia” was approved on October 5, 2016, which is to be enforced by forest rangers and other security sectors in Liberia. Liberia.
“We cannot stay here as a government and allow a single hunter or a group of people to destroy our biodiversity; it is important to note that these wild species attract tourism and that the country as a whole can benefit from it. ” He added.
Ali continues that a recently arrested suspect was also found in possession of six single barreled bullets and immediately turned over to the Liberian National Police (LNP) for prosecution at the Gbarma High Court in Gbarma District, County of Gbarpolu.
The suspect identified as Peter Wonmein was charged with violating Liberia’s wildlife protection law and referred to Gbarma High Court on Tuesday, September 14, 2021, to be prosecuted there.
Meanwhile, Gbarma Magistrate Magistrate Magistrate Boima H. Cooper, who presided over the case, charged suspect Wonmein with three counts, including illegal possession of meat from bush, a protected animal, and wildlife hunting.
Magistrate Cooper fined Wonmein US $ 250.00 to be paid into the Liberian government tax office and the 17 bodies of dried meat were confiscated.
For his part, the wildlife protection officer assigned to western Liberia, Jallah Fahnbulleh, says prevention and protection of wildlife is essential to preserve Liberia’s biodiversity.
Mr. Fahnbulleh explains that the confiscation of protected animals and the prosecution of offenders will go a long way in reducing the hunting and killing of wildlife.
He said killing and selling wildlife should not be the only alternative to livelihoods, noting that while the government and its partners are not robust in tackling wildlife crime now, endangered species will be extinct in the near future.
This newspaper did not contact Senator Kanneh, a former jerky seller, to comment on the allegations.