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MOSCOW, April 26 (Itar-Tass) - The State Duma lower house of Russia’s parliament on Friday will discuss in the first reading the presidential bill that would toughen responsibility for hunting wild animals, including Siberian tigers, leopards and other rare and endangered species of wild animals and fish put in the Red Data Book of the Russian Federation or protected by international treaties.
The largest number of violations in this sphere is committed “against a limited number of such species of animals,” according to an explanatory note to the bill.
Thus, from 30 to 50 tigers are illegally hunted per year, according to various estimates. The total damage from this activity reaches up to 25 million roubles. Illegal hunting of such birds as gyrfalcon, saker falcon, peregrine falcon, reaches 1,200 birds per year. The damage is estimated at about 240 million roubles.
The bill establishes responsibility for the illegal hunting and trafficking of such animals in the form of compulsory community services for up to 480 hours, or correctional labour up to two years of compulsory labour for up to 3 years with a fine of up to 1 million roubles, or imprisonment for up to 3 years with a fine of up to 1 million roubles.
Officials would face prison terms of up to 5 years with a fine of up to 2 million roubles, and if the act was committed by an organised group, its members can be imprisoned for up to 7 years. The bill also introduces confiscation of money and property derived from the commission of the crime.
At the same time fines are increased fines in the RF Code of Administrative Offences (up to 1 million roubles for legal entities) for the “destruction of rare and endangered species of animals or plants.”
“Taking into account the social and environmental consequences of offenses against animal species entered in the Red Data Book or protected by international treaties, the proposed amendments are highly relevant,” the State Duma Committee on Natural Resources, Nature Management and Ecology emphasised in its appraisal.