Bushmeat Vendors Let Off With a Warning in Ratanakkiri

Military police in Ratanakkiri province working with the NGO Wildlife Alliance confiscated 40 kg of bushmeat from two vendors at a Banlung City market Thursday morning but let the women go with a warning.

Sar Rao, a unit chief for Wildlife Alliance in Ratanakkiri, said the military police officers were dressed as civilians when they approached the vendors, and only identified themselves after the illicit meat was put up for sale.

“We arrested the wild-meat sellers and warned them not to sell wild meat at the market,” he said.

Mr. Rao said they decided not to arrest or fine the women because they were both pregnant. The haul, he said, included meat from the monitor lizard, porcupine, wild boar and hog deer, the last of which is endangered in Cambodia.

Under the Forestry Law, the trade in common species without permission is punishable by a fine of up to three times the value of what is seized.

Trading rare species is punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of 100 million riel, or about $25,000.

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