Sergei Donskoi reports on plans to toughen punishment for poaching

Sergei Donskoi reports on plans to toughen punishment for poaching

13 October 2016

On 12 October, Vladimir Putin held a regular meeting with Government members. Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Sergei Donskoi gave a report on the current legislative imperfections concerning illegal trade in rare animals, their body parts and derivatives.


“Poachers are mostly driven by market demand for rare animals and their derivatives. In particular, experts say the global market for rare animals’ derivatives is worth 17-20 billion euros a year. Annual damage caused by poaching in Russia exceeds 10 billion roubles. Last year alone, police identified nearly 2,000 illegal hunting incidents,” Mr Donskoi said.


According to the recent data, in the past three years 330 people were held criminally responsible for poaching, and nine criminal investigations were opened into tiger hunting. Now there is also the online sale of poaching products. In 2015, over 600 adverts selling 2,500 animals were uncovered, with about 30 percent of offers for tiger derivatives.


Mr Donskoi proposed to intensify efforts to fight poaching and to toughen punishment for illegal trade, including by separately specifying responsibility for online trade of Red Data Book animals. According to the amendments put forward by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, poachers will face up to three years of compulsory labour and a 1.5 million rouble fine or two to four years’ imprisonment. An organised group of poachers may be sentenced to six to nine years in prison and a 3 million rouble fine. The ministry plans to introduce the amendments in a draft law by the end of the month.


President Putin supported the minister’s proposal and asked the Prosecutor General’s Office and the Interior Ministry to start working in the same direction.