THE EDITOR: Taking into account that our game species have been diminishing in numbers over the years, the Zoological Society of Trinidad and Tobago Inc is standing strong behind the decision of the Minister of the Environment and Water Resources, the Honourable Ganga Singh to consider imposing a two-year moratorium on hunting in Trinidad and Tobago.
The Society is pleased over the timeliness of this contemplated action which will in effect stop any opening of the hunting season due in October.
The Society commends the Honourable Minister for considering taking this bold step for conservation, a move which we are aware has the support of other environmental groups and like-minded individuals. It is noteworthy that the voice of a few detractors did not waiver the conviction of Minister Ganga Singh to consider putting this measure in place which would benefit wildlife in the immediate and longer term.
In supporting this moratorium, the Society does not throw sole blame on hunting for the depletion of our game animals, but recognises that habitat destruction, diseases and other factors are also contributory. Nevertheless, a respite from hunting which goes on for five months annually, would help with the recovery of game populations, while allowing the Forestry Division to carry out a proper wildlife assessment island-wide. Importantly too, the game animals would be spared the harassment from being pursued with dogs in their natural habitat. Information coming out of the scientific study, it should be noted, would help in framing a proper hunting regime for the future that would not be detrimental to our game species.
The Society is urging the Forestry Division to take the necessary measures to ensure proper enforcement and management of the moratorium, so that this initiative can successfully achieve its aim.