Nepal | July 08, 2020

Far-west hotels selling meat of protected species

Himalayan News Service
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pair of endangered bird species kept for sale

A pair of birds kept for sale at a hotel in Martadi, Bajura, on Friday, February 24, 2017. Photo: THT

Bajura, February 24

Hotels along the Bhimdata Highway, KI Singh Highway and Dasharathchand Highway in the far-west are blatantly selling meat of wild animals and birds, many of them endangered species.

“There are a number of hotels along the Bhimdatta Highway, mainly at Bhatkada, Gaira, Sahukharka, and Budar, that sell the meat of wild boars, ghorals, deer, swamp deer, and many birds including pheasants at around 700 to 2000 rupees per kg,” said a local Prem Bhandari.

Dadeldhura, Doti’s Tele Lekh, Achham’s Chaukhutte, Bajhang’s Satbajh, and Baitadi’s Khopde are known for the sale of wildlife meat. A Gaira-based hotelier, on condition of anonymity, said, “We don’t poach any animals. Hunters come to sell their game, and customers are willing to buy them, so we keep the meat.”

Interestingly, prospective buyers of the meat are often government officers, businesspersons, contractors, and officers of state security agencies.

DIG Bijaya Kumar Bhatta, chief at the Far-western Regional Police Office, Dipayal conceded that he was  aware of the illegal practice, but never found anything during monitoring. “In order to prevent it, we’ve been collecting guns from villages and monitoring on the highway,” he said.

As per the National Park and Wildlife Conservation Act-2029, a person convicted of hunting of protected bird and animal species is subjected to five to 15 years in prison, and a fine up to one lakh rupees.

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