The biodiverse nation, with 25% of its land protected as reserves, becomes first Latin American country to ban hunting

Costa Rica on Monday became the first Latin American country to ban hunting as a sport, after an unanimous and final vote from Congress.

Lawmakers had provisionally approved a reform to its Wildlife Conservation law back in October. With a population of 4.5 million people, Costa Rica is one of the world's most biodiverse nations.

The central American country is already known for its environmental mindset, with 25% of its land protected as national parks or reserves.

Under the new law, those caught hunting can face up to four months in prison or fines of up to $3,000.

Smaller penalties for people who steal wild animals or keep them as pets were also included in the reform. Jaguars, pumas and sea turtles are among Costa Rica's most treasured species.

"There is no data on how much money hunting generates in the country, but we do know there are currently clandestine hunting tours that go for about $5,000 per person," said Arturo Carballo, deputy director at Apreflofas, an environmentalist organisation who spearheaded the reform.

Foreign hunters come to Costa Rica in search of exotic felines while others look to obtain rare and colorful parrots as pets.

This is also Costa Rica's first proposal that came to Congress by popular initiative, with 177,000 signatures calling for the ban submitted two years ago.(Source)

Responses to "Costa Rica bans hunting as a sport"

  1. Anonymous says:

    Maybe there is hope for this beautiful world we live in and all Gods creatures large and small. 3 cheers for costa rica

  2. Kathy says:

    What a good decision, wildlife as beautiful as these animals need to be preserved. Real nice blog, thanks for sharing this important news.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Well done Costa Rica.If a relatively small country can achieve this wonderful step forward what is stopping major countries from following suit.In fact there should be no place in the modern world for this barbaric practice.It is archaic and unnecessary.Anyone who takes another life for fun is sick.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Well done, Costa Rica! If only other countries could follow this example - and dedicate the same percentage of their territories to national parks... However, Costa Rica could drop her charges against Paul Watson of Sea Shepherd for threatening behaviour towards Costa Rican fishermen engaged in illegal shark finning (illegal, inter alia, in Costa Rica). As you may know, Costa Rica had Interpol issue an international arrest warrant against Watson, under which he was arrested in Germany and bailed pending extradition procedures, and he has skipped bail and is on the run. However, the statute of limitations will void the warrant this coming June...
    Erik, in France

  5. anne thomson says:

    Bigger country,s take note least Costa Rico listens to the people Great decision......

  6. Anonymous says:

    Mark my words, this will NOT be good for wildlife or humans. The animals will become dangerous nuisances much as deer are here in Central TX, and bears are in some parts of the states when they decide they'd rather dumpster dive than live in the wild. Or alligators along the gulf coast when they decided Spot and Fluffy were more appetizing and easy to hunt that their natural prey. May take a few years, but it will happen.

    Not to mention the poachers who will have ZERO regard for the natural order and may very well destroy some species in the quest for the animals. Which is why in areas where elephants and giraffe are hunted LEGALLY they thrive. The profit motive makes it useful to take care of the population. Whereas in nations where hunting those animals is illegal they are endangered, and the locals could care less about poaching since the animals are a nuisance on crops etc the populations of those animals is declining.

  7. Anonymous says:

    I didn't know hunting went on there. When I wentit was a very beautiful place.

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