NATION

Illegal To Kill, Wound Animals That Damage Farms

  Villagers have been strongly urged not to wound or kill animals that damage their farms. Issuing this advice was panelist member and former Chief-Magistrate Aminiasi Katonivualiku at the draft
10 Feb 2017 11:00
Illegal To Kill, Wound Animals That Damage Farms
(Far right) The Village By-Law Committee Chairman Saimoni Waibuta at the Yaroi Village Hall in Savusavu yesterday. Photo: Josaia Ralago

 

Villagers have been strongly urged not to wound or kill animals that damage their farms.

Issuing this advice was panelist member and former Chief-Magistrate Aminiasi Katonivualiku at the draft village by-laws consultations for the province of Cakaudrove in Savusavu.

Mr Katonivualiku said despite archaic village laws and a clause in the by-laws which justifies this act, it was considered a summary offence in the 2009 Crimes Decree.

Quoting the decree, Mr Katonivualiku said: “Section 368 of the 2009 Crimes Decree reads that a person commits a summary offence if he or she wilfully and unlawfully kills, maims or wounds any animal or bird capable of being stolen.

“The maximum penalty is five years imprisonment.”

He added that the farmer should approach the owner of the animal owner about it and ask them to pay for the damages.

Mr Katonivualiku said they could always seek the assistance of the Ministry of Agriculture in these cases for the damage assessment costs.

“If you see that there has been a vast amount of damage done, then they can take it up to the Small Claims Tribunal,” he said.

Mr Katonivualiku was replying to concerns raised by the Mata-ni-tikina ko Naweni, Panapasa Naqarase, who requested that this clause in the by-law be looked into as the mutilation, wounding and killing of animals belonging to any villager often does more harm than good.

“We are humbly requesting if you could consider a more peaceful way to dealing with this issue because it often creates conflicts and rifts amongst the villagers,” Mr Naqarase said.

Mr Katonivualiku said the killing of an animal belonging to any villager, by farmers for damaging their farms must be put to a stop.

Edited by Caroline Ratucadra

Feedback:  josaia.ralago@fijisun.com.fj

 



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