Monday, 14 April 2014

Mozambique: New Stiffer Penalties for Poaching

The Assembly of the Republic on 9 April unanimously passed the first reading of a bill on conservation areas, which dramatically increases the penalties for poaching, particularly of endangered species.

The bill proposes prison sentences of between eight and 12 years for people who kill, without a licence, any protected species, or who use banned fishing gear, such as explosives or toxic substances. The same penalty will apply to people who set forests or woodlands on fire (poachers often use fire to drive animals into the open).
Anybody using illegal firearms or snares can be sentenced to two years imprisonment.

In addition, those found guilty of the illegal exploitation, storage, transport or sale of protected species will be fined between 50 and 1,000 times the minimum monthly national wage in force in the public administration (at current exchange rates, that would be a fine of between US$4,425 and US$88,500).

Violation of the provisions of the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) could result in a fine of up to a thousand times the national minimum wage. So ivory or rhino poachers, if caught, are looking at a prison term of 12 years and a fine of US$90,000.

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