The official website of the Wild Bird Club of the Philippines
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Wild Bird Club hits sports fowl-hunting

Sun Star Pampanga
Thursday, January 17, 2008
By Raymond C. Garcia

CANDABA -- The Wild Bird Club of the Philippines (WBCP) recently criticized several websites that demonstrate what the group describes as "blatant disregard for the law," particularly the Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act or Republic Act (RA) 9147.

The group said the pictures in some websites clearly show faces of the hunters and dead birds, some of which are considered as endangered under the Red List of threatened birds of the world.

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According to the group, the penalty for killing or destroying endangered wildlife species as stated in RA 9147 is imprisonment of two years and one day to four years and/or a fine of P30,000 to P300,000.

The law specifically states further in Section 27 that unless otherwise allowed in accordance with the act, it shall be unlawful for any person to willfully and knowingly exploit wildlife resources and their habitats, collecting, hunting or possessing wildlife, their by-products and derivatives

As such, even the mere possession of these species, evidenced by their very own pictures on their very own websites is punishable by law.

"We accept the hunting of game for food, culling (in the case of overpopulation of certain species) and for ritual purposes, but we fail to see how defiance of the law qualifies sports hunters as conservationists, especially when what they proudly display are dead birds of a vulnerable species, one that is found nowhere else in the world and of which not enough studies have determined tile capacity to survive the loss of habitat and other threats," the group said.

Also, according to their survey, the Philippine Duck counts as one of the many birds that are displayed on several websites as having been shot down in numbers that horrify scientists and birders alike.

They also said unless hunting is based on figures, unless sports hunting revenues can pay for the conservation of sufficient wild habitat, until they have a need to cull specific invasive or pest populations and until the ranks of hunters can police themselves to strictly follow the rules, they cannot accept that hunting contributes in any way to conservation.

"For as long as vulnerable and endemic species whose numbers are dwindling before our very eyes and whose habitats are fast being taken over by development that is unfriendly to the wild co-inhabitants of this archipelago, any form of sports hunting should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law," they furthered.

The group appealed to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) saying that, "we appeal to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and to the Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau to demonstrate speedy and effective enforcement of the Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act These are crimes against the Filipino people and future generations in the global community who may never know these creatures being hunted to extinction."