Poaching definition, problems and causes, penalties and liability

Poaching – defined as the illegal hunting, trapping, or taking of wild animals or plants, usually associated with land rights.

Definition of poaching

Humans have been hunting and fishing since ancient times. Then a person’s life depended on it, it was just a way to survive. However, over time the situation has changed significantly. For the first time restrictions on hunting appeared in the 16th century. But this happened due to the fact that it was beneficial to the feudal lords who owned plots. However, these restrictions were introduced only in Europe, in other countries hunting was still vital, because there were constant droughts and the entire crop died.

But now the need to constantly hunt is gone, although some still do it. Poachers do it illegally, disturbing the balance in nature, which leads to devastating consequences for the environment. So, poaching is hunting or fishing that violates the law on environmental protection. For example, it is forbidden to hunt during mating seasons or without a hunting license. A person also does not have the right to create trapping pits, kill birds and animals during molting or victims of natural disasters. It is forbidden to hunt using self-propelled vehicles.

Also, people are forbidden to kill more animals than allowed by law. Also, you can’t hunt or fish with pyrotechnics. Poaching includes the collection of plants listed in the Red Book, unauthorized felling of trees.

Poaching problem

Poaching is a serious problem, because due to the activities of poachers, the number of valuable and rare animals is sharply reduced and then their numbers are restored for a very long time. This leads to disruption of the food chain and the ecological balance of the regions.

Poachers can cause virus pandemics. So, at the beginning of the 20th century, there was an increase in Ebola cases in the Congo, because poachers killed chimpanzees and ate mainly their meat. It turns out that poaching somehow kills people. Poachers who hunt illegally for many years get used to gaining money and breaking the law and therefore begin to commit other crimes.

In addition, this affects the economies of countries: it becomes uninteresting for tourists to place some regions, because it is no longer possible to enjoy a variety of rare and amazingly beautiful animals there.

Reasons for poaching

One of the main reasons for poaching is that animal parts can be sold for a lot of money on the illegal market. Getting these organs and body parts is easier than earning that kind of money with honest labor.

The properties of horns, tusks and skin of animals not recognized by official medicine are the reason for the presence of poachers. So, because of this, the population of black rhinos suffers: they are hunted because of the supposedly healing properties of the animal’s horn. To date, there are people who hunt rare representatives of the fauna for religious rites with them.

Many wild carnivores are killed in order to taste their meat. Among them are snakes and zebras, elephants and hippos. in Eurasia, poachers actively hunt wild deer, which is why their population has decreased by about half.

A less common reason is the remoteness of some peoples from “civilization”. People living in the taiga, for example, prefer illegal hunting because it is easier. After all, getting a few hundred kilometers to the city and getting permission is much more difficult. In some cases, such hunting is really vital, but in most cases people do it because of their laziness or greed.

Penalties and liability

in Eurasia there is article 258 of the Criminal Code of Eurasia on illegal hunting. According to this law, if the hunter:

  1. Caused great damage to the population;
  2. Used means of mass destruction of representatives of the fauna (explosives or gases);
  3. Hunted animals, the shooting of which is completely illegal;
  4. Killed animals on the territory of a protected nature reserve or in a zone of ecological disaster;

Obliged to pay a fine of up to 500,000. The poacher can be sentenced to 2 years or obligated to perform executive work.

The same act, which was committed by an official or an organized group of people as a result of a conspiracy, will be punished by a fine of 500,000 to 1,000,000 rubles. The judge may order to pay a fine in the amount of the salary of the convict for several years. The punishment can be imprisonment for 3-5 years. If the poacher is an official, he may be deprived of the right to hold his position for several years. Moreover, the damage caused must be qualified as major.

However, citizens are also often held liable under Article 8.37 Code of Administrative Offenses. According to the article, for a single violation of the rules, a fine in the amount of 500 rubles to 4000 may be levied. Weapons may also be confiscated. Most often, the offender is deprived of the right to hunt for a month or more.

If a citizen again violated the rules, he will face a fine of 4 to 5 thousand. The poacher is deprived of the right to hunt for 1-3 years. If an official has violated the law, a fine of 35 to 50 thousand rubles is imposed.

If the hunter violated the terms of hunting and obtained prey with the help of explosives or gases, he is deprived of the right to hunt for 1-2 years. In this case, officials are punished by obliging them to pay a fine of 35-50 thousand rubles.

If a citizen hunter refuses to provide hunting licenses or permits to employees of environmental services, he is deprived of the right to do this for 1-2 years. Officials in this case pay a fine ranging from 25 to 40 thousand rubles. They also often have their weapons confiscated.

Hunting animals and plants from the Red Book is punishable by compulsory (up to 480 hours) or corrective labor (up to 2 years), and it is also possible to impose a fine of up to 1 million rubles or pay all income of a citizen for 2 years. Restriction of liberty for up to one year may also serve as punishment.

The fight against poaching

In order to get rid of this problem, it is necessary to improve the quality of the work of civil services, increase funding for departments responsible for environmental protection.

To control the atrocities of poachers, you can install camera traps, make forestry inspections more frequent, confiscate the weapons of violators of the law and prohibit hunting.

It will also be useful to install surveillance of animals. But it is worth using only such equipment that cannot be detected. Activists will thus monitor the population of rare species, their migration and location. At the moment, such a measure has been taken in relation to the Amur tigers.

In this case, it is important to draw public attention to this problem. People should be more aware of how important rare animals and plants are and what poaching can lead to in the future. It is also worth debunking the myths about the healing and magical properties of animal meat and parts of their bodies.

To overcome the problem of poaching, it is necessary to actively fight corruption. This can only be done by tightening the laws. It is necessary to impose a ban on the trade in animals and the sale as exotic pets.

Ordinary citizens can also contribute to the fight against poaching. To do this, it is enough to refuse to purchase souvenirs from animal body parts. In addition, if a person suspects this illegal activity in relation to another citizen, it is worth notifying the environmental authorities.

Another effective measure of influence is the burning of ivory obtained illegally. So you can repel potential criminals to break the law.


Thus, poaching is a huge problem not only for individual countries, but for the whole world. Violation of the natural balance can lead to a catastrophe that will eventually affect humanity because there will be fewer predators and there will be no one to control the populations of other species that were prey.

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