TRINIDAD & TOBAGO (LOOP NEWS) – President Anthony Carmona has called for an end to hunting in Trinidad and Tobago.
Speaking during the launch of a plastic bag reduction campaign and tree-planting ceremony at the Office of the President on Tuesday, Carmona said the senseless slaughter of wildlife for financial gain must be stopped.
“In Trinidad and Tobago, we have a backward, regressive ritual called the hunting season where animals are literally slaughtered for profit,” he said.
“We need to wake up and smell the coffee. There is more money and more jobs to be gained by protecting our wildlife rather than selling them dead,” he said.
Carmona said hunting has been prohibited at President’s House to protect the many species that inhabit the grounds.
“At the Office of the President I have banned the hunting of iguanas, squirrels and chicken hawks and other animals on these grounds both in and out of hunting season. Because we at the Office of the President are in the business of animal conservation and husbandry,” he stated.
Carmona said the flourishing wildlife on the grounds of President’s House has been admired by many international ambassadors, High Commissioners and other visiting dignitaries.
“When they come out on the balcony and look at the grounds and they see iguanas running across President’s grounds, they see squirrels, the see chicken hawks in beautiful flight. They see even parrots and parakeets. There are certain benefits for us to be gained by engaging in animal husbandry and conservation.”
Carmona said eco-tourism is an area of importance but it cannot flourish without the protection and conservation of wildlife.
“Our authorities therefore need to recognise that eco-tourism is not just a zip line into an empty forest. The forest must be populated with thriving and healthy flora and fauna and wildlife for it to become the elixir of our eco-tourism trust. We need to get serious if we are really in the business of eco-tourism. We must stop killing our wildlife.”
Carmona added that the authorities throughout the Caribbean must consider bringing legislation to protect wildlife and prohibit hunting, as was done in Kenya. – (www.looptt.com)