Forestry Development Authority (FDA) rangers assigned at the Clay Checkpoint outside Monrovia over the weekend intercepted some bush meat from traders in Bomi County.
The rangers who spoke to the Daily Observer said the Clay Checkpoint has over the years become a transit point for bush meat traders, with rangers making several arrests of the banned commodity.
Most of the bush meat they have intercepted and seized the rangers said, are reportedly from Gbarpolu County, where commercial hunting is on the rise.
“On many occasions, we have been threatened by some highly placed officials to arrest the meat sellers,” one of the rangers claimed.
Sometime last year, a huge quantity of the meat was intercepted and confiscated from a group of businesswomen. The commodity was burnt at the head offices of the FDA in Paynesville, outside Monrovia.
This newspaper’s investigation has established that Gbarpolu County has become a hotspot of well-organized commercial hunting, which has attracted a huge number of bush meat traders.
When contacted, FDA Deputy Managing Director for Administration, Kederick F. Johnson, confirmed that the rangers intercepted bush meat from some businesspeople at the Clay Checkpoint.
Mr. Johnson said the seized bush meat was not of endangered species and of less commercial value.
He added that the FDA has launched a nationwide awareness campaign intended to sensitize hunters on the species that may be killed for domestic purposes and the ones they should spare during their hunting expeditions.
Johnson said as a result of the awareness campaign, bush meat trade at street corners have reduced.
He, however, cautioned citizens and hunters against the mass killing of animals that are not endangered species.
“Such illegal acts on the part of commercial hunters and their business partners cannot help to protect animals that could be preserved for future generations,” Johnson added.
Meanwhile, Mr. Johnson said the FDA has established five regional offices across the country to protect all endanger species against poaching and commercial hunters.
The regional offices are responsible to monitor and supervise any aggression against the endangered animals, he added.