Time in Yerevan: 11:07:36,   24 April

Armenian authorities seek to introduce up to $1,000,000 penalty for leopard poaching

YEREVAN, MARCH 25, ARMENPRESS. The government is seeking harsher penalties for poachers, with the ministry of nature protection having introduced a new bill on amending the law regulating the sphere.

Voskehat Grigoryan, Head of the Bio-diversity and Bio-Safety Policy Department of the Nature Protection Ministry told a news conference today that the bill envisages to raise the fine for leopard poaching from the current 3,000,000 drams to 100,000,000 drams ($206,000). But if the poaching took place in a specially protected area the fine will be 500,000,000 drams ($1,000,000).

“This is yet a draft option, it is currently in circulation, however the main emphasis of the bill is for the heightened fines to be a suppressive tool, so people avoid poaching,” Grigoryan said.

World Wildlife Fund Armenia Director Karen Manvelyan said he is in favor of the proposed increase of the penalty.

Manvelyan added that today technologies enable carrying out more efficient supervision and detect poaching cases. He said there are currently more than 100 surveillance cameras installed in various locations, and they are planning to increase the number.

Edited and translated by Stepan Kocharyan

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