The Altai mountain sheep poacher has been sentenced
A poacher in Republic of Altai caught red-handed at the border with Mongolia. An Altai Argali male was hunted illegally. The case of the end of 2016 has been prosecuted in Republic of Altai.
Border guards, Police and Sailugemsky National Park’ rangers investigated the case. WWF officially asked the Ministry of Natural Resources to put the case at a specific control.
It is the first time for so many yers whan the pocher has been caught and he faces the penalty.
The poachers sentenced to 10 months disciplinary labour and required to pay a fine of approximately 8300 euros.
Last year on October, 19 in Kosh-Agach District of Republic of Altai in Kalanegir place in 2 km from Sailugemsky National Park a group of poachers was caught by police for poaching Altai argali red-handed. According to the media the gun used to shoot an animal belonged to the hunter from Vladimir City.
Alexander Karnaukhov, WWF Altai-Sayan Programme Coordinator, says that Altai argali is listed in IUCN Red List. Hunting Altai argali in Russia is forbiden. Before last Autumn there had not been any single case of a poacher being caught for years. However, WWF experts and partners come across the remains of Altai argali regularly. Local people hunt Altai mountain goat for great big horns and for subsistence. The poacher caught red-handed in Altai is a unique case. He was sentenced and fined. However, the case is not that simple. Unfortunately, nowadays in Russia all criminal cases in the sphere of nature conservation are considered of the least importance. Most of poachers get the strong punishment rarely. This case has also caused lots of controversy. All the other hunters reported to be caught from the start have been later excluded from the police list. Only one local person was found guilty. However, it is clear that the people from Vladimir City were the organizers of the poaching, locals served as outfitters and guides”.
In 2013 Russian President approved in the 3rd reading legal amendments that introduce tougher punishment for poaching and trafficking of rare species. WWF has been campaigning for these changes to take place since early 2000. The law introduced criminal penalties for smuggling of especially valuable animals. However the crimes are still considered to be of little importance.
WWF hopes that crimes in the sphere of nature conservation will be considered as important as the other crimes and the criminals will get hard punishment.