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New curbs on hunting rare Siberian tigers, leopards and falcons secure first reading

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27 April 2013


Rare 'white gloved' Amur leopard, pictured by WWF photographer Valerii Maleev. Picture: WWF Russia 

The presidential bill will impose tough new penalties for illegal hunting of such species as Amur tigers and Far Eastern leopards, and other creatures registered in the  Russian Red Book of Endangered Species or protected by international treaties.

An improvement in the populations of both tigers and leopards has been noted recently, but they remain threatened and the new legislation is aimed at supporting other efforts to save the species. 

Poachers illegally catch from 30 to 50 tigers annually, it is claimed. 

Birds under threat and covered by the new laws include gerfalcons, saker falcons and peregrine falcons.

The new laws set out a new punishment tariff for 'catching, selling, keeping, obtaining, storing, transporting and dispatching wild animals and biological water resources registered in the Russian Red Book of Endangered Species and (or) protected by the international treaties of the Russian Federation'.

Penalties include up to 480 hours of community work or two years of corrective labour. Officials involved in poaching  will face up to five years in prison and fines of up to two million rubles. Members of criminal groups could be jailed for up to seven years.

Police will secure new powers to confiscate the proceeds of hunting endangered animals. 

Rare plants will be included in the new curbs, too. 

Environmental campaigners have been pushing for fresh legislation to halt poachers.

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