Four minors, students of an Orange Walk high school, and their teacher face criminal charges of illegally hunting a black howler monkey found near their school last week. The monkey was apparently severely beaten and died of its injuries days later. Today, Minister Alamilla commented on the incident, saying that while there is nothing wrong with hunting with the permission of Government, this incident was far worse.
Minister Lisell Alamilla:
Anything that threatens the safety of an animal is something that the Forest Department is concerned about. In Belize, the Wild Life Act requires that we have a permit for any hunting. People have not been adhering to that. That is something that we are educating people about. Any kind of hunting requires a permit, and any commercialization of these species, for example any bush meat, if your going to be trading in it or selling it at a restaurant, you really require to apply for a permit that cost two thousand [dollars]. In breach of the wildlife act, you have a fine of five hundred dollars.
The Minister added that the report was not a good reflection on Belizean society, as the “incredible violence” perpetrated on the animal was done despite it “posing no threat to society.” Charges are expected, but not yet formally laid.