Russia raises fines for poaching tenfold
MOSCOW, May 8 (RAPSI) - President Vladimir Putin has signed a law raising fines for poaching tenfold. The document was posted on the government's official legal information website on Wednesday.
According to the bill, individuals who have violated regulations protecting natural habitats and animal migration paths, including those of marine life, birds and fish, will be punishable by a warning or a fine of 2,000-5,000 rubles ($64-$160), up from 300-500 rubles. Officials will face a fine of 5,000-10,000 rubles ($160-$320), up from 500-1000 rubles, while companies will face a fine of 10,000-15,000 rubles ($320-$480), up from 5,000-10,000 rubles.
Individuals who violate hunting regulations will be punished with a fine of 2,000-5,000 rubles, up from 1,000-2,000 rubles, while officials will have to pay 20,000-30,000 rubles ($640-$960), up from the current fine of 10,000-15,000 rubles.
The maximum fine for violating fishing regulations, including commercial and coastline fishing, will double to 5,000 rubles for individuals and to 20,000-30,000 rubles for officials. Corporate fines will remain unchanged. The penalty will not apply to fishing in inland sea waters, territorial waters, the continental shelf and Russias exclusive economic area.
The bill was approved by the Federation Council, Russia's upper house, on April 27.
According to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), poachers kill up to 200 polar bears in the Russian Arctic annually. Ecologists from Russia’s Primorsky Region added that there has been a significant increase in the smuggling of tiger pelts in the past 12 months, noting that Siberian tigers are on the verge of extinction.