From a friend....

Isn't it brilliant to note that cooks and street venues are not implicated in this Wildlife Order. Only the Hunters and the Vendors.

I was originally on a panel to create such an order for the Belize Forestry Department, many years ago. Although our mandate was a lot more than one page.

So, when you travel down the Northern Highway into Belize City you can stop and eat at food stands offering gibnut and deer out of season, and yet no government office makes a move to shut them down, fine them or halt the sales. Could the Forestry Dept. and the Police Dept. get together and enforce unilaterally. Of course not, why would they want to?

I see trucks with carcasses of forty or fifty bodies piled high, out of season, heading up the Coastal Road. I also see truck loads of un-marked tree logs, sand and gravel, pick-up loads of stolen oranges from White Ridge, thatch palm leaves stacked up in their hundreds, pimento and bush sticks stuffed into box backs, people raping with no enforcement of regs., and yet never have I seen a Check Point on the road to officiate the passage of goods. Well, why would the GoB want to interfere with profit.

I often used to go in to Forestry and ask who has a license to kill this, and where, or who has a concession to log and why? "Oh, no one this month, they would say". Meanwhile a fully camouflaged ninja warrior with a night-sight (illegal to hunt at night in Belize) on a 223 full cased rifle casually walks on down the Coastal as I meander passed on my way home at dusk. For Americans, this might not be too unusual, to a Brit this means WAR! I run a wildlife sanctuary. What's the point?

To me this announcement is just a joke. Especially as the closed dates are mostly during the dry season: March, April, 'anything's game' Easter; and when everyone with a pee-shooter descends on the Coastal Road for a weekend with a cooler full of beer and monster flashlights to blind their prey. Turkey for Thanksgiving and maybe Christmas in some countries (until we wiped them all out), here in Belize it's Bush Meat when the season is officially closed for most game.

Oh, didn't you know, a license to kill is for one particular animal only, on one particular day only and in one particular location only $20 (unless they've changed that). Or, you can pay $500 and shoot anything, anywhere, anytime. So coo! Nobody where I live bothers with either.

I live on The Coastal Road, where no police or Forestry Officials ever dare to go (costs too much in gas or is really dangerous, they say - whatever!). In Belize it is customary to hunt and eat gibnut. They say it is their God given right to hunt any animal they choose, they are Belizean animals and their's to hunt, that you foreigners should just butt out: as one ex-gov minister once spat at me (omitting the fact that any poor animal bagged by him also belongs to the other 350,000 inhabitants of Belize and is not just his to profit from). He also omitted the fact that his great grandfather was probably Scottish, as was mine. Then, hardly foreigners we are at all!

There is no one to question illegal hunting activities, meanwhile policemen, GoB officials and pedestrians alike regularly frequent dining establishments as mentioned above. Belizean's eat 'bush meat'! That is a fact, and fair game under regulation, as should be right anywhere with rules, you might think. But let's take a closer look...

This promotional measure is another of many GoB avenues to promote Belize as an eco friendly and environmentally conscious country, to be viewed positively by the international community and the tourist industry, who clap and say "Isn't Belize doing well." It's a BTB home run. They can't enforce it, they don't want to enforce it, it just looks good on paper.

PS: Have you not noticed that the Belize map has not changed since 1950. All those, so called, 'forest reserves' that look so good to tourists and foreign governments, all blotched out in green on your fold out map or internet blog, as if Belize cares so much about the environment, none of which exist, all having been parceled off and for sale or lease by the Land's Dept., except the mighty and only GoB reserve, measuring a piddly 10 acres called, "Guanacaste National Park". YEEHH

So GoB might have a few other promotionally important reservations such as areas with Mayan artifacts where they laud archaeological activity as if they care, while making shit loads of money off cruiser ship tourists - good for them (yet denounce Maya rights). Then fail to implement border control in sensitive areas such as the Chiquibul, because, frankly, who gives a shit, there's no tourist money to be had - let the Guats have the gold and the macaws cos I'm not going to get shot for a few measly kilometers of Belizean soil.

Most anything environmental that is truly protected in Belize is NGO. You Better Believe it.