Report on performance of Belarusian Society of Hunters and Fishermen

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Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko heard out a report on the work of the Belarusian Society of Hunters and Fishermen on 13 November.

Attending the meeting were Chairman of the Belarusian Society of Hunters and Fishermen Igor Shunevich and Deputy Prime Minister Leonid Zayats.

Addressing Igor Shunevich, the head of state said: “As far as I understand, you initiated this conversation because the decision taken by the government is not exactly what the Society wants.”

The President noted that all these issues will be tackled at the state level excluding any departmental interests. “You understand that there are state interests, personal interests, the interests of the Society. We should approach these issues smartly, in the best interests of the state and members of this organization,” said the Belarusian leader.

One of the talking points was the production of ammunition for smoothbore weapons. “I don’t see any problem here. Let’s think of the best way to do it,” said the head of state.

Another issue dealt with adjustments to laws regulating the circulation of weapons and ammunition. “We can also consider this issue,” the President noted.

The next topic concerned the regulation of the number of animals and birds listed in the Red Book of Belarus. “This issue is of paramount importance for the state, it is crucial for the image of our country,” the head of state remarked.

A separate issue had to do with the charter of the public association. “What is there that caused the dissension with the government?” the President asked.

Aleksandr Lukashenko expressed readiness to discuss a number of other issues relevant to the interests of the state: “Like your claim for a separate building in Minsk; this issue has allegedly not been resolved yet. And a number of pending issues that got stalled at the level of government officials up to the President.”

The Belarusian Society of Hunters and Fishermen has established Belarus’ Big Five and Belarus’ Big Seven trophy hunting badges. The first such badge was awarded to Aleksandr Lukashenko by Igor Shunevich.

“Let me show you our new thing which we hope will help us popularize hunting in the country, including trophy hunting, attract foreign hunters and develop domestic competition. We have examined the trends in the global hunting industry and developed such decorations in Belarus. They are called Belarus’ Big Five and Belarus’ Big Seven,” Igor Shunevich explained.

Trophy hunting badges are made by jewelers using precious metals such as gold and silver. The “Seven” is designed for men and the “Five” - for women. Hunters are to get the trophies that are designated in a special document, within a certain period of time. For example, Belarus’ Big Five comprises elk, deer, roe deer, wolf and wild boar.

According to the head of the Belarusian Society of Hunters and Fishermen, similar ratings exist in other countries, and when developing the domestic badges, specialists drew on the experience of Africa. In particular, Africa’s Big Five, which includes elephant, rhinoceros, leopard, lion and buffalo, is well known among hunters.

Aleksandr Lukashenko said that he was not a hunter and would donate the award to the museum.

The chairman of the Belarusian Society of Hunters and Fishermen also briefed the President on the organization's activities and its ongoing reforms. “A year and a half ago, I reported on the proposed reforms. They are underway. The main decisions have already been made. The Society has made significant steps to improve both the work of the organization and the hunting industry in the country in general,” he said.

According to Igor Shunevich, hunting is a traditional Belarusian activity and industry, in which the state invests huge material resources and expects a return.