- Reports reaching NEPA are that crocodiles are being hunted for their meat in four parishes and nine communities on south coast.
- The Agency has also received reports of crocodile meat being sold at eateries in Kingston and St. Andrew, Westmoreland, Clarendon and St Elizabeth.
- Consuming crocodile meat may also predispose the individual to health risks given the Crocodile’s diet.
The National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) is deeply disturbed by increasing reports of crocodiles being eaten by members of the public. NEPA is currently engaged in intense investigations to confirm the identities of individuals involved in the hunt, capture, sale, purchase and consumption of the endangered animal.
Reports reaching NEPA are that crocodiles are being hunted and killed for their meat in four (4) parishes and nine (9) communities along the south coast.
These are: Springfield, Westmoreland; Parrottee, Font Hill and Black River in St. Elizabeth; Salt River, Lionel Town and Milk River in Clarendon and Portmore and Amity Hall in St. Catherine.
Additionally, the Agency has received reports of crocodile meat being sold at eateries in Kingston and St. Andrew, Westmoreland, Clarendon and St Elizabeth.
NEPA has been conducting ‘stakeouts’ in selected communities without much success. Just last month however NEPA carried out an operation in the Corporate Area which resulted in the seizure of suspicious meat which is currently being tested to determine whether it is crocodile or imported alligator.
Consuming the meat of the crocodile may also predispose the individuals to health risks given the Crocodile’s diet. The public is to be reminded that crocodiles are scavengers and feed mainly on dying, diseased and decaying matter from swamps and sewage ponds.
NEPA is reminding the public that under the Wild Life Protection Act IT IS ILLEGAL TO CATCH, OR KILL CROCODILES. It is also an offence to have a crocodile or any part of the animal in one’s possession. Anyone found guilty of these offences are liable to a fine of up to $100,000 or twelve (12) months imprisonment.
NEPA is advising members of the public to cooperate with its officers when they visit areas to investigate crocodile sightings. Persons may also call NEPA at 1- 888-991-5005 or 754-7540 if they have information that may lead to the capture of individuals involved in the crocodile meat trade. Reports may also be made to 119 or the nearest police station.