Two regional working meetings in Plovdiv and Stara Zagora were held on the topic of Action plan against the illegal use of poisonous baits in nature. The meetings were organized by the BSPB withing the Life for Falcons project (LIFE20 NAT/BG/001162) and were hosted by the Regional Inspectorates of Environment and Water in Plovdiv and Stara Zagora. More than 40 representatives of the newly formed sector Crimes against nature in the Economy police department at the National Police Service, from the Regional Food and Safety Directorates, Regional Directorates of the Ministry of the Interior, and the Wildlife Rehabilitation and Breeding Center of Green Balkans.
Focus of the meetings was the counteractions against the illegal use of poison in the nature and its harmful effects on the biodiversity. First steps in coordination between the institutions for fast and effective actions in cases of crimes against nature were made. The National action plan against illegal use of poisons in nature 2021–2030 which was published in August 2021 was discussed and in particular the system developed for organizing the work, control, interaction and operability of the institutions, NGOs, and the citizens. BSPB presented the similar cases and the most common motives for them along with examples for the investigations in Bulgaria and internationally.
The Society gave to every institution a specialized kit with tools of preserving and documenting poisonous substances and baits, as well as other evidences and Guide for investigation of poisoning.
The discussion between the participants afterwards was focused on the reactions in case of crimes against nature and was highly beneficial. During its course contacts were exchanged and the algorithms for fast exchange of information and coordination were clarified, as well as the possible difficulties during the investigation and the need for more specialized trainings. The representatives from the sector Crimes against nature in NPC – which is responsible for the carrying out criminal investigation, coordination and organization of the activities for preventing and counteracting of the crimes under the articles 235-239, 278в-278д, 349 and 352–354 from the Penal code.
At the end of the meetings the participants stated their willingness for effective cooperation between the members of the newly formed group and their hope for less cases of crimes against nature.
Crimes against nature including the illegal poisoning of wild animals are one of the reasons for the biodiversity decrease. Using of poisonous baits is amongst the main reasons for the adverse status of the vultures and other raptors in Bulgaria. This illegal activity is a threat for the nature, and economic and social development. It could lead to the extinction of species and to harm game and the animal husbandry and, which is a main occupation in some regions. Using of poisonous baits continues despite different regulations in place – international conventions, European and Bulgarian legal tools.
Photos: Volen Arkumarev