According to the Department of Environmental Supervision of the Ministry of Environmental protection and Agriculture of Georgia, in the forest of Ukhuti, Vani municipality, a citizen killed a wild bear, on the red list, with an unregistered hunting rifle.
As the bears are on the red list, thereby causing significant damage to the environment, amounting to GEL 50,000 and the identified offense contains criminal records, the materials were sent to the West Georgia District Attorney’s Office for further response, ”the Environmental Supervision Department said in a statement.
Comment by Teimuraz Tsikoridze, Chairman of GSPSA:
“The amount of damages will be set by the court up to GEL 50,000. That means the court will be fined up to GEL 50. It can also be fined up to GEL 2,000. As for Article 259 of the Cruelty to Animals Act, some animals are not dealt with under this law and why they even have no idea by themselves. The bear is also an animal, and in addition to the damage to the environment, the animal was cruelly murdered. Therefore, I believe that in addition to the damage caused to the environment, against the offender should be prosecuted in accordance with Article 259.
The Ministry of Environment, in addition to finding the perpetrator guilty and referring the case to the Prosecutor’s Office for investigation of environmental damage, was also required to apply to the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the offense provided for in Article 259 of the Criminal Code. It certainly did not, and it is natural that the investigation will not commence under Article 259. I have spoken to the Ministry several times on this issue. ”
“Ifact” has requested documents on hunting and fishing cases reviewed by Georgian courts over the past five years. The judgments and verdicts requested show that the judges do not punish the poachers with the full severity of the law.
In the case of illegal hunting and fishing, the strictest measure of the law implies two years in prison for criminal offenses and compensation for additional environmental damage.
Illegal hunting and fishing is increasing every year inside and outside Georgia’s protected areas. Environmental offenses are first reported to the police by the various sub-agencies of the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources Protection of Georgia, then the cases are brought to the court.
Criminal cases always end with a plea bargain, and no poacher goes to jail even if he kills a red list animal protected by Georgian legislation.