JIS News

The 2006 bird-shooting season will open this Saturday (Aug.19), with Minister of Local Government and Environment, Dean Peart having signed the necessary orders under the Wild Life Protection Act for hunting to begin.
Zadie Neufville, Public Education Officer at the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) told JIS News that the season would end on Sunday, September 24 and shooting would only be allowed on weekends, that is, Saturday mornings from sunrise to 9:00 a.m. and again in the afternoon from 2:30 p.m. to sunset. On Sunday mornings, shooting is allowed from sunrise to 9:00 a.m.
She explained that only four types of birds might be shot – the pea dove, the white-winged dove, the baldpate and the mourning dove. “There is also a bag limit of 20 birds per shoot, that is, 20 birds in the morning, 20 birds in the afternoon, except where the white crown pigeon is concerned, you will shoot only 15 of those birds,” she advised.
“We also require that a fully-feathered wing be kept of each bird shot.
This is used to collect age information from the bird. A general bird population count is being done, which will inform scientists and legislators as to what happens for each season,” Miss Neufville informed.
In addition, the Public Education Officer revealed that there was an increase in the cost of the hunter’s licence from $7,000 to $8,000. “A hunter’s licence is needed to shoot bird during the season in addition to a shotgun permit,” she told JIS News, adding that, that the hunter’s licence can only be purchased through NEPA and/or authorized distributors. We have a schedule of those on the website, www.nepa.gov.jm, so you can see where it is that you can purchase these permits”.
Meanwhile, Miss Neufville reminded hunters to adhere to the regulations of the Wild Life Protection Act, noting that the Island Special Constabulary Force (ISCF) and NEPA, along with Wild Life Wardens, would be monitoring shooting areas to enforce the Act.
“We are going to be out there in our numbers and we are going to be prosecuting anybody caught breaking any aspect of the Act. The maximum fine for breaching the Wild Life Protection Act is $100,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year or both,” she stated.

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