Turtle Dove Massacre: Two High Ranking Officials Fired

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Two officials in Morocco’s Ministry of Agriculture, Maritime Fisheries, Rural Development and Water and Forests have been sacked after 1490 turtle doves were massacred by Gulf tourists in the area of Marrakech.

A video documenting the massacre of 1490 dove birds in the area of Morocco’s Marrakech by Gulf tourists triggered a public uproar last August. Moroccans called upon the authorities to intervene and punish those responsible for what they called an ‘environmental massacre’, which led the Ministry in charge to begin an investigation.

Around ten days later, two high ranking officials were found responsible for this serious abuse and were sacked immediately. They are the Regional Head of Waters and Forests and the Head of the Wildlife Surveillance and Control Unit in the High Atlas.

The investigations led by the Department of Waters and Forests confirmed the authenticity of the photos and videos that were shared on social media. Then, it located the places where the incident took place and revealed that they belonged to a lot leased to a hunting company.

According to a communiqué released by the mentioned ministry, the hunting company did not supervise the hunting activity, as dictated by the provisions of the leasing contract.

This makes the company fully responsible “for the acts committed by its customers,” it adds. The communiqué goes on to say that the department has proceeded to the suspension of the hunting license from the “company which will also be subject to legal proceedings.”

Morocco’s hunting regulations specify that the hunting limit for this species is 50 birds per person per day.

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