Last update: 09-Dec-2013 10:57 pm
Monday, December 09, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
You are here
Minister warns of DNA testing on cooked meats
Wild meat lovers could have their cooked meats subjected to DNA testing to determine if they are indulging in the consumption of prohibited animals. This was the warning from Environment and Water Resources Minister Ganga Singh yesterday as he spoke with reporters during a tour of the UMR Furniture factory, SS Erin Road, Debe. The minister, who instituted a two-year moratorium on hunting last month, called on meat lovers to adhere to the ban on hunting and not partake of any illegal wild meat.
“We are calling upon persons who have a penchant for wild meat on their table to desist, put an end, halt their purchase of wild meat because we intend to do biopsies, DNA analyses of our wild-meat population and we will be able to go into your pots and find out whether or not it is goat, deer, tattoo, lappe or flamingo,” he said. The minister said he was serious about enforcing the ban on wild meat and intends to ramp up enforcement of the moratorium.
He said so far the moratorium had been successful. He said over the weekend one person was arrested with a matt in Moruga. Singh commended the court’s ruling on Monday in which poacher Kenny Rattan was jailed for a total of 18 months for having the carcasses of 18 scarlet ibis, the national bird. Rattan, however, will only serve one month in jail as the sentences will run concurrently Singh said Rattan’s arrest is reflective of the ministry’s commitment to its new enforcement regime.
Singh said enforcement of the moratorium has been heightened. He also appealed to the public to join the fight to conserve local wildlife. “We are setting up our hotline—it should be established by the end of the week—in which you can call in and (it) will be linked to our enforcement component in order to catch those who are poaching,” he said.
“In addition to that we have a meeting with a progressive group of hunters—there are those who are regressive and there are those who are progressive, who are saying they recognise the need for conservation.” Singh said he has integrated agencies across the ministry such as the Water and Sewerage Authority (WASA) police, the Environmental Management Authority police, game wardens and the foresters to ensure the moratorium is being adhered to by all hunters.
He said arrangements have been made with the Petrotrin security to protect south and south-western areas and similar arrangements have been made with the Chaguaramas Development Authority to protect in the north-west peninsula. “We just bringing in the police,” he said. The minister said his understanding is that hunters made a living off wild meat and he is offering them an opportunity to participate in a density survey with the University of the West Indies and University of Wisconsin to record the wildlife population.
“Those who depend on hunting, making a killing to make a living, will be embraced by the EMA in a programme called EMA Bush Masters where they will participate with the EMA in the density survey that will take place,” he said. “They will now be part of the system where they will now making living from conserving. It is a whole new paradigm. They are going to serve in this sector. It is a whole new approach to the conservation of our wildlife.”
User comments posted on this website are the sole views and opinions of the comment writer and are not representative of Guardian Media Limited or its staff. Guardian Media Limited accepts no liability and will not be held accountable for user comments.
Please help us keep out site clean from inappropriate comments by using the flag option.
Guardian Media Limited reserves the right to remove, to edit or to censor any comments. Any content which is considered unsuitable, unlawful or offensive, includes personal details, advertises or promotes products, services or websites or repeats previous comments will be removed.