Poisoning wild animals has exterminated two types of vultures in North Macedonia, the institutions have to start issuing fines


The poisoning of wild animals is considered a specific type of felony in North Macedonia and in these cases, the institutions have to act in accordance with previously set protocols. Taking into account that the country has very little experience for these situations, protocols are of key importance for solving and lowering the occurrence of incidents where poisons have been used illegally in the wild.

These are the conclusions from the workshop for establishing operative protocols for acting in cases of wild animals poisoning, organized by the Macedonian Environmental Society (MES) as part of the BalkanDetoks LIFE project. The workshop’s goal is to stop the habit of illegal use of poisonous traps in the country, an activity that has resulted in the regional extermination of two types of vultures and is causing enormous and irreversible damages on the biodiversity in the whole region.

The members of MES state that even though many activities had been implemented to solve this problem, the lack of operative protocols for all institutions that are competent in these cases represents an enormous hindrance in the investigation and the process of solving such incidents. They stressed that this is a very specific type of felony and most of the personnel and the institutions don’t have any experience how to act, the article of the law on which to act, or how to investigate or they may not be aware it is a felony or may consider they aren’t authorized.

“Until now, there hasn’t been any type of rulebook or standard operative procedure for acting in cases with wild animal poisoning. Despite this, almost every year we have been faced with cases such as these, the lack of experience and appropriate training, as well as awareness of the seriousness of this type of crime. The lack of any protocol has led to the institution’s failure every time a case such as this one appears. This has resulted in cases remaining unresolved,” said Nenad Petrovski of MES.

He also stressed that one of the main protagonists in the investigation is the Ministry of Interior which is responsible for securing the place of the crime and for gathering evidence, reporting to the Public Prosecutor and submission of the poisonous trap to the Forensic Department to analyze the poison that was used.

“If these are protected species, it is necessary to include an inspector of the State environmental inspectorate that is competent for determining whether there is a felony i.e. poisoning as well as evaluation of the damage caused to nature. The inspector is also authorized to file criminal charges. The Environmental inspector can also pick the poisoned animals up and transfer them to the Faculty of Veterinary medicine for autopsy and toxicology analyses,” said Petrovski.

If the case is on the territory of a hunting ground, the game wardens also have authorizations and part of the burden about the initial reaction falls also on the Agency of Food and Veterinary i.e. the veterinary inspectors, but Petrovski says that despite the invitation, no one from this institution responded to the invitation to take part in the work shop.

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