FDA, Partners Burn Over L$50k Worth of Bush Meat In Grand Gedeh

The Forestry Development Authority (FDA) Region 4 office and partners have burnt over L$50,000 worth of bush meat, comprising both wildlife and protected species.

The exercise took place on October 17 at the FDA office in Zwedru, Grand Gedeh County.
In remarks at the ceremony, Paul F. Duo, FDA Regional Forester for Region 4, said the action by the Authority was intended to serve as a warning to those engaged in destroying the country’s wildlife and called on them to desist from such habit.
During the burning, Duo displayed body parts of one of Liberia's protected species, the Pygmy Hippopotamus, which was recently killed by a 44 year-old hunter identified as Tonia Doe in the Gbarzon Forest.
Duo told participants of the ceremony that the killer is currently in the custody of the Liberia National Police undergoing investigation, and will face prosecution, according to the law.
The Regional Forester disclosed that the action of Tonia contravenes Chapter 9 of the National Forestry Reform Law of 2006 which forbids the killing of protected species.
According to him, the punishment for any guilty person is a fine of US$5,000 to US$10,000 dollars or 2 to 4 years jail term.
Duo said over 40 body parts of dried bush meat were confiscated, while searching for Tonia Doe, the alleged killer of the Pygmy Hippopotamus.
As was the case in years past, according to Duo, all confiscated bush meat was auctioned at cheaper prices by FDA, but said this has been changed to burning for fear that they might be contaminated.
"There are challenges faced by our men in the discharge of their duties in the bushes, ranging from economic to logistical challenges, among others, and we are, however, aware of the huge economic hardship in the country presently," Duo pointed out.
He lauded the cordial working relationship among FDA, partners, citizens and local authorities in the county.
"Liberia is a signatory to treaties and conventions aimed at protecting our forest reserves. Everyone should desist from destroying them," said Duo.
Making remarks at the occasion, acting Superintendent Paul T. Neeo lauded FDA and partners for such initiative which he described as a means of discouraging those in the constant habit of destroying the country’s heritage.
He called on all participants to serve as messengers and take the information to their respective institutions, communities and families.
The occasion was characterized by excitement as people watched “bush meat” generally meant for consumption being destroyed.

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