The Wildlife Division of the Forestry Commission has announced the beginning of the hunting “Close Season,” a temporary ban on hunting from August 1 to December 1.
A statement issued by the Division and signed by its Executive Director, Nana Kofi Adu-Nsiah, explained that this period was the time when most wild animals, especially mammals, such as duiker, bush pig, porcupines and the royal antelope, reared their young ones.
“It is therefore imperative that the animals are given a respite from hunting, to wean their young for a successful recruitment into the next generation,” the statement said.
Nana Adu-Nsiah said the non-observance of rules and regulations governing wild hunting and inadequate support from the law enforcement agencies, had necessitated the enforcement of the Close Season.
He said grass-cutters were, however, exempted from the ban, but one would need a license to hunt them.
The Executive Director pointed out that while wildlife was a valuable food and eco-tourism resource, it was being over-hunted.
He noted that the dwindling number of animals was threatening not only food security in both rural and urban communities, but also the survival of species, and the integrity of Ghana as a signatory to international conventions.
“Our appeal, therefore, is that all hunters, be they professional, trophy, leisure and dealers in the wildlife enterprise to temporarily stop their activities during the close season and also be circumspect during the open season,” Nana Adu-Nsiah said.
He reminded hunters that LI 685 also forbade the hunt, capture or destruction of any young animals or female animals rearing their youngs.
The Wildlife Division Executive Director also appealed to the public to help achieve the observance of the directive, by not patronizing bush meat, dead, alive or smoked during the period, with the exception of grass cutters, to make it uneconomical for hunters to hunt during the period.