TEHRAN- Iranian officials at the Department of Environment will introduce new bill with tougher penalties for wild animal poaching, Mehr news-agency reports on Saturday.
The new law will be announced within the next week and will increase the penalties for killing the Asiatic Cheetah from the current 20 Million Tomans ($6,000) to 100 Million Tomans (about $30,000) and Persian leopard from five million ($1,500) to 80 million (about $24,000), Ali Teimoori confirmed.
Additionally, the new fines for brown bear will be 50 million tomans ($15,000), Persian fallow deer 60 million tomans ($18,000) and Roe deer 35 million tomans ($10,000), Teimoori added.
The new fines were agreed upon discussion with officials from the provinces with a high rate of illegal hunting such as Zanjan, Yazd, Semnan, Golestan and Lorestan, he added.
In another report by IRNA on the same date, three people were arrested in the town of Dargaz after being caught in an illegal poaching campaign.
Two of the culprits were arrested during a short chase after they were caught transferring 45 Myna birds from Dargaz to Mashhad, according to Abolfazl Shabani, an official in the local department of environment in Korashan Razavi Province.
A third person was later arrested in Dargaz in possession of 160 Myna birds, while in Mashhad, shops suspected of being involved in illegal animal trade were checked one by one, Shabani said.
50 Myna birds and skylarks, two squirrels, a turtle, and 13 different species of wild birds were found in the raid, Shabani confirmed.
The animals were all released into their natural habitat in Khorasan Razavi Province.
Khorasan Razavi with 43 protected areas is home to 80 species of mammals, 286 birds, 68 reptiles and 24 types of fish.
The town of Dargaz lies 255 kilometers from Mashhad.