pThe biodiverse nation, with 25% of its land protected as reserves, becomes first Latin American country to ban hunting/p
pa href=””, Tuesday 11 December 2012 /p
pa href=””Costa Rica/a on Monday became the first Latin American country to ban a href=””hunting/a as a sport, after an unanimous and final vote from Congress./p
pLawmakers had provisionally approved a reform to its a href=””Wildlife Conservation/a law back in October. With a population of 4.5 million people, Costa Rica is one of the world’s most biodiverse nations./p
pThe central American country is already known for its environmental mindset, with 25% of its land protected as national parks or reserves./p
pUnder the new law, those caught hunting can face up to four months in prison or fines of up to $3,000./p
pSmaller penalties for people who steal wild a href=””animals/a or keep them as pets were also included in the reform. Jaguars, pumas and sea turtles are among Costa Rica’s most treasured species./p
p”There is no data on how much money hunting generates in the country, but we do know there are currently clandestine hunting tours that go for about $5,000 per person,” said Arturo Carballo, deputy director at Apreflofas, an environmentalist organisation who spearheaded the reform./p
pForeign hunters come to Costa Rica in search of exotic felines while others look to obtain rare and colorful parrots as pets./p
pThis is also Costa Rica’s first proposal that came to Congress by popular initiative, with 177,000 signatures calling for the ban submitted two years ago./p