Tuesday, February 07, 2012

A new growth industry- Poaching

A friend of mine was involved in the building of a hotel on the East coast, Passikudah to be exact.

He was telling that there is a shop that sells game; venison, wild boar sambhur and various other meats. I have no objection to eating wild boar, it is not protected and for the most part regarded as a pest because of the damage that it causes to crops. I do however draw the line at that, I do not consume protected species.

This shop apparently has a booming business - supplying to construction workers. My friend estimates that there are about 5,000 workers building hotels in the area. As soon as a fresh supply of game is obtained the word goes out and within hours every scrap is sold out. The main demand seems to be from these workers, not the people who live in the area.

The best part of the story is that the shop is supposed to be owned or run by a policeman so no action is likely to be taken to shut it down. Since demand seems strong poachers are probably putting in extra hours to supply the need with consequent damage to wildlife stocks.

Could the people involved in construction in the area take note and attempt to educate their workers not to buy meat from poachers? It is, after all, in their own interest to do so.

Wildlife is a tourist attraction. If a lot of deer are killed there will be fewer to see. Moreover, if all the herbivores are destroyed, it will lead to leopards turning to lifting cattle or dogs which will bring them into conflict with herdsmen who may resort to trap guns or poison. Even if leopards simply move away to other areas in search of game, it will be a loss, so take the initiative and act.


Angel said...

That is quite sad... I wonder if the head honchos will take note?

Anonymous said...

You have identified a huge problem. BTW even wild boar is protected so technically despite it being a pest you are not permitted to kill!

This goes on all over. There are two main reasons. One is for hunter gatherers who kill protected game as they have done for a long time, learning the methods from their fathers. In some hamlets in Ampara, this is the only meat they eat, from deer, sambhur, to thalagoya, tortoise, and even porcupine, but for personal and family consumption and none sold.

When it is done as a business to cater to a demand, this can be short lived as the game in that particular area can become completely extinct as a result.

Either way it is only at school that one can teach the importance of conservation, and the inevitable benefit that can accrue to the people of the area from preserving instead of killing that game. It is a hard sell and needs a lot of coercion and some kind of windfall if it to gain traction, but it has to be done at that stage if we are to stop this.

The traps that are laid in the forests also kill many humans annually and this can also be used to explain that sometimes their own kith and kin can be killed by a trap laid by them.

A tough sell, but every effort must be made to do so before we lose all our wildlife to a senseless craving to meet a demand.

Jack Point said...

Thanks for that detailed comment Anon. I was under the impression that it was only illegal to sell wild boar and that shooting it was not illegal.

I was trying to start by educating my friend who told me this. He was happily consuming venison and various other protected species. I'll take another crack at him when I next meet him.

Nishan said...

Wild boar can be killed on your property but transporting and selling it is illegal. So eating it unless you shot it on your property means breaking the law. More importantly how do we know if wild boar served by a shop/hotel was actually shot in a protected area. The other problem is its the same poachers who kill and trade wild boar and other protected species so by buying from them we are encouraging the people in the wild meat trade. Simple answer is stay off all wild game.

Personally I think there is a good possibility to farm species such as deer and wild boar for meat. Unfortunately the extreme conservationists in SL will never allow that even though the current system has not afforded much protection to animals. Where a demand exists a supply will too. What we need to do is provide a more sustainable supply.

Jack Point said...

Thanks for that Nishan, and welcome to the blog.

Yeah I guess, I'll have to stay off the wild boar.