Hunters caught breaking regulations against poaching have been fined €1.18 m since the new rules were introduced in July, 2017. Of this amount 60% has been paid, 10% is still pending to be paid and 30% was not paid within the grace period and the cases have now been sent to court.
The figures were issued by the Game Service, together with a call to hunters to comply with the ‘written and unwritten rules’ as the new hunting period gets underway on Sunday.
There will be a total of 17 hunting ‘outings’ on Sundays and Wednesdays from October 27 to December 22 when the hunting season closes.
The Game Fund has imposed a quota of one hare, four partridges and one grouse per hunter.
Hunters have been urged to avoid hunting close to inhabited areas or isolated houses. Hunting is prohibited within 500 metres from residential areas, 200 metres from isolated houses and 300 metres from military installations.
The Game Service said that the most common offences — hunting without a permit and hunting in a prohibited area are punishable with a fine starting from €2,000 and rising depending on the extent of the offence and whether other offences are also committed.
The fine for poaching at night carries a fine of €25,000.
Hunters must have their hunting licence, gun licence and permit to use hunting dogs with them and must respect foreign property, police said adding that in the event of an emergency they can call 199 or 112 . Anyone aware of illegal hunting should contact the citizen’s help line of 1460 so that offenders can be caught.
Hunters are reminded that hunting is not permitted in the buffer zone.