Hello, the black market!

Resolution of the Government of the Russian Federation of 31.10.2013 № 978 «On approving the list of the most valuable wild animals and aquatic biological resources belonging to the species listed in the Red Book of the Russian Federation and (or) protected by international treaties of the Russian Federation» (hereinafter — the List) contains 7 really rare and endangered mammals. It Altai argali (Ovis ammon ammon); Amur tiger (Panthera tigris altaica); Polar bear (Ursus maritimus); Leopard (Panthera pardus); The bison (Bison bonasus), the saiga antelope (Saiga tatarica) and Snow Leopard (Uncia uncia).

Hello, the black market!

Photo by Valery Maleev

All these species, except the saiga, are included in the Red Book of the Russian Federation. Status saiga population is also considered critical, and the need for special measures to protect it are not doubt.

But the proposal of the Ministry of Natural Resources to make Prechen sable — the beast, and certainly extremely valuable, but currently existing on safely most of the area, increasing its size, was a complete surprise. Environmental conditions for this are not available. AT Unlike the rare and endangered animals, in sable Russia — normal hunting species predpromyslovaya population of approximately 2 million individuals, as evidenced by a stable annual production at level exceeding 700 thousand skins.

Condition of most populations in sable Over the past two decades It causes concern. Beginning with 1999, production in the Sable Russia is growing, despite the reducing the number of participants in the fishery and caused additional difficulties development of distant lands. AT From 2000 In 2014 the volume of sales in the wild sable St. Petersburg fur auction increased from 183 to 675 thousand. Skins (in 2013 there was the highest figure in the history of trading) and the average price per pelt in 2012/2013 season reached its absolute maximum — 234 US dollars.

Currently sable hunters produced almost entirely goes to legal turnover and for the most part realized through Saint-Petersburg fur auction. The concentration of sales (up to 90% of the skins) on one site makes high degree of reliability and to monitor the dynamics of blanks analyzed by this indicator trends stock status species.

During the past few years, the annual sale sable only St. Petersburg auction nearly twice the limit, and more than three times (2013) — mining officially registered. Stable long-term growth of blanks is convincing proof of the unreliability (understatement) sable resource assessment and as a result, the definition of irrational withdrawal limits.

AT then However, even understated doubled the limit on production is not fully redeemed by hunters. All commercial hunters, with rare exceptions, prefer not to save acquire permission to extraction sable «in store»Limiting their minimum amount as a result of the fishing season is difficult to predict, and refund on the unused authorization virtually impossible.

None less active in Currently, the law does not preclude revenue produced in excess of the limits of furs legal turnover taxable. Fur gray market legalized without any problems and It goes on Official site of trade. AT the situation even smuggling abroad lost their attraction in due to higher auction prices, and the black market for a long time disappeared with Mandatory discharge. Only a small part of the production of fur trade is for personal consumption hunters.

The explanatory note to draft government decree states: «The role of the fur trade, and consequently, the role of resources in sable Modern Russia is not only economic, but and social. Hunting — is the most common form of winter employment taiga settlements, where fishing in to some extent involved in 75-80% of the male population. Sable Mining provides 90% of the total income of the fur trade. The most significant share of the income from the fur trade in families where the head of household is a professional hunter and for representatives of indigenous peoples and Far East».

In 2013, the volume of auction sales of skins of wild sable (674 866 skins on published «IN Sojuzpushnina» results of trades) in 3.23 times higher than the officially registered production. It follows that no less than 70% of revenues from the sale of fishers in sable furs This season has been obtained at the expense of above-limit, the there is illegal hunting. This situation is repeated from year to year minor variations.

This leads to the assumption that production-limit is not due criminal tendencies of the population of Siberia and the Far East, very imperfect procedure of issuing permits for Sable production. AT such circumstances equating responsibility for the production sable over subjectively determined to limit penalties for illegal hunting Amur tiger and leopard (or smuggling of nuclear weapons components, qualifying for the same article. 226.1 of the Criminal Code) is absurd and can lead to significant negative social and economic consequences.

Inclusion in sable The list even if the full development will lead to the limit not criminalize trafficking less than half of the total annual production of fur, which is about 350 thousand skins on an amount up to 2 billion rubles (in the auction prices April 2014). Enforcement Decree of the Government on the list of actually entail resumption of the black market of fur, which is Today is absent. The sponsors are not leave miners «soft gold» an alternative way to compensate for such losses.

In addition, execution of the decision by tens of thousands of hunters-fishers will be forced to give up a large part of the only possible earnings, or at risk of being involved in criminal liability. Under the shot primarily fall hunters, not Related to representatives of indigenous peoples, as FZ «On the hunt…» It allows for year-round indigenous representatives freely (without permits) in the exercise of hunting to ensure maintenance of traditional lifestyles and of the traditional economic activities.

Further. AT According to h. 3 tablespoons. 19 of the Act «On the hunt…» furs obtained in the exercise of hunting to ensure maintenance of traditional lifestyles and of the traditional economic activities, «implemented by organizations carrying out activities purchase of products of hunting»Thus enters the legal turnover.
Legal basis for the involvement responsibility for Art. 258.1

Procurer of the Criminal Code (of the buyer) is not there is, subject to the timely receipt of veterinary certificates purchased furs. In buyer-fur and no pressing need in its smuggling abroad (Art. 226.1 of the Criminal Code), as sales of sable St. Petersburg is safe and auction lawfully provides the most favorable to suppliers international market conditions.

Link to «Agreement on international standards on humane trapping of wild animals between the European Community, Canada and the Russian Federation» (AIHTS; signed by the Russian Federation and 24.04.1998 ratified in April 2008), contained in Explanatory Note seems inappropriate. Said «Agreement» not directed to protection along with sable 18 other types of fur-bearing animals — Eurasia and fauna North America. It only regulates the methods of getting listed in It common species of animals to ensure unhindered access of products derived from them on the international market.

Untrue and a statement that «the adoption of the Resolution of the Government of the Russian Federation «On approving the list of the most valuable wildlife aquatic biological resources belonging to species listed in Red Book of the Russian Federation and (or) protected by international treaties of the Russian Federation for the purposes of Articles 226.1 and 258.1 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation» not require changes in other normative legal acts». At the very least need to be revised Art. 19 of the Act «On the hunt…», at Otherwise, it is impossible to prevent the legalization of any number of sable furs by its registration as a traditional hunting products.

There is also a need to review of veterinary legislation, as Currently, veterinary certificates required for moving and implementing parties furs, not connected with the fee for the use of the animal world Article 333.3 of the Tax Code or the number of permits extraction sable, issued in producing regions buying furs.

Thus, a proposal for making sable The list is absolutely unjustified to terms of maintaining its numbers, but It can only lead to extremely negative social consequences caused by the loss of the last hunters and only items of income to the resumption of the black market of furs to total criminalization of hunting and fishing to the loss of the State any possibility of control over the production sable.

Sergei Minkov14 August 2014 at 00:00

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