Authorities of the Forestry Development Authority (FDA) on Monday arrested two persons who attempted selling about 30 bags of dried bush meat at the Clay Check Point on the Monrovia-Bomi highway.
The FDA’s action was in compliance with the regulation banning commercial hunting of endangered forest species and the sale of the bush meat.
An FDA official said 195 carcasses of bush meat were seized from three known Gbarpolu County-based sellers in Western Liberia. About 785 pieces from the slaughtered animals were counted in the presence of the sellers, identified as Betty James, Botoe Kenneh and Gladys Weah.
When the counting was completed, FDA officials resolved, based on the regulation, to burn all the confiscated meat.
In separate remarks, wildlife and conservation representatives reminded the meat sellers that the preservation of the endangered species was a paramount concern of the FDA and international conservation groups.
“We are not going to compromise the commercial hunting regulation that bans the illegal killing of endangered species in our country for the sake of protecting our businesspeople,” an FDA representative warned.
“I must admit to you all here that we have committed ourselves to the protection and conservation of all endangered animals in our country,” he added.
FDA Assistant Communications Director, Richie Grear, earlier told the Daily Observer that two weeks ago, FDA rangers arrested some women with large quantities of bush meat from the Lofa Bridge area in Gbarpolu County.
Mr. Grear said the latest action by the FDA should serve as a warning to would be violators of the seriousness management attaches to the enforcement of the commercial hunting regulation.
During investigations held at the head offices of the forest agency by the Wildlife Department, the meat sellers were found in violation of FDA regulation banning commercial hunting.
“As a result of the latest action by the FDA management, forest rangers have begun to step up the search and seizure of bush meat throughout their operational areas,” Grear disclosed.
Following questions from the wildlife and conservation representatives, the meat sellers admitted to the crime.
At the FDA investigation on Monday before a panel of wildlife and conservation representatives, the meat sellers appealed to the FDA management to provide them alternative business opportunities.
The women also disclosed that they have been involved in the bush meat trade for several years and abandoning it could be a loss of income to sustain their families.