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Conviction of Bunun tribesman sparks call for hunting law revision

Conviction of Bunun tribesman sparks call for hunting law revision

Taipei, Dec. 30 (CNA) Interior Minister Chen Wei-zen said Wednesday that he will seek an amendment to the relevant law to allow Taiwan's indigenous people to hunt in national parks for wild animals that are not listed as endangered species.

Chen, who was responding to protesters' calls for a change of regulations after the conviction of an aboriginal hunter, told the press that he will do his best to send an amendment bill to the new Legislature after the Jan. 16 elections. Discussions are being held with the relevant experts on the possibility of allowing aboriginal people to hunt for unprotected wild animals during their tribal festivals, but such a change would require an amendment to the National Park Law, Chen said.

The species under consideration include wild boars that reproduce quickly, Chen said, adding that he hopes such a change would be viewed as respect for aboriginal culture and traditions.

"However, it does not mean that hunting would be allowed any time they want," he said.

The issue was highlighted during a protest Tuesday by representatives of 14 indigenous tribes outside the Supreme Court following the conviction in October of man from the Bunun tribe on charges related to killing a wild boar and a Formosan serow in 2013.

The 56-year-old man, Wang Kuang-lu, was found guilty of violating the country's laws on gun control and wild animal conservation and was sentenced to a total of three and a half years in prison.

Wang told the police that the gun he used to kill the animals had been found in the mountains and that he was hunting leaner wild meat for his sick 92-year-old mother because the products available in the "plains market" was too fatty.

His conviction resulted in protests by members of the Bunun and other tribes, who said the law was too harsh against Taiwan's aboriginal people for whom hunting is a traditional way of life.

The protesters urged respect for their hunting culture and said Wang's conviction should be overturned. (By Lu Hsin-huei and Elizabeth Hsu)

Updated : 2021-05-09 13:53 GMT+08:00