The Forestry Department is reminding the public that hunting on Forest Reserves is prohibited.
Speaking in an interview with the JIS news, Legal Officer at the agency, Sandy-Lue Cole said under the Forrest Act of 1996, it is an offence for anyone to enter the forest reserve to kill, wound or capture any wild birds.
She added that it is also an offence to carry fire arms in a forest reserve or any area that is protected under the Forest Act.
“We want to make this law clear especially during this bird shooting season. I am appealing to the public to be aware of their surroundings, and respect the law that protects our natural habitats,” she shared.
Ms. Cole said there are adequate signs mounted in and around the areas to inform persons of the restricted sites.
She added that those who ignore the signs and enter the grounds do so at their own risk.
She said persons who are caught trespassing, hunting or shooting birds on these prohibited lands will be brought before the courts and fined $200,000.
Ms. Cole further added that failure to pay the fine will land the offender(s) a two year prison sentence.
She said in addition to providing natural beauty, the preservation of the forest is necessary for preventing flooding during times of heavy rainfall.
Forest preservation also helps to absorb water and slow flood flows, preventing damage to soil, property and buildings in floodplains she noted.