In Brazil where wild and exotic animals can be found in numerous places, one area of particular interest is hunting. According to hunting clubs and other entities specializing in hunting, the number of people carrying a hunting license is around 4 million. In this article, we will learn more about hunting in Brazil.
Legality of hunting
Hunting has been an illegal activity in Brazil since 1967. Animals of all species at any stage of its development and living outside of captivity are considered State property. Therefore, all kinds of using, pursuing, destructing, hunting or harvesting of Brazilian fauna without prior consent by the government is prohibited.
Hunting of wild animals, although considered illegal at federal level, may be permitted at a state level but only for sporting purposes - therefore excluding professional hunting - provided that the state conducts preliminary studies relating to:
- The feasibility of the activity
- If the population of the species is endangered
- Analysis of the environmental impact as well as monitoring and enforcement of activities.
Commercialization of products and objects involving the hunt, pursuit, destruction or harvest of wild animals are also prohibited.
Need of a License
To be allowed to hunt, an individual is required to obtain an annual license, which is specific to a limited geographic region. If the individual intends to hunt using firearms, they must obtain ownership rights for the firearm from the Federal Police. Moreover, the individual needs to be a member of a Hunt Club.
A special hunting license, with the purpose of collecting material for scientific purposes, can be granted to scientists at any point during the year. This license is issued by the Supervisory Board of Artistic and Scientific Expeditions in Brazil together with IBAMA, the Brazilian Institute of Environment and Renewable Natural Resources.
The license for hunting is issued by the IBAMA and by each state’s Secretariat of Environment.
Occasions when valid
The state of Rio Grande do Sul is the only state to recently allow hunting for sporting purposes in 1996 and 2005 but only when the hunting was limited to certain types of ducks and geese. In 2008 these activities were totally forbidden, however in 2013 hunting for the European wild boar was permitted by the IBAMA for purposes of population control as it is an invasive species that is very aggressive, carries disease and has no natural predators.
Scientists collecting material for scientific purposes may also apply for a special hunting license.
Hunting for subsistence is permitted, although it is done only in order to preserve the lifestyle of indigenous tribes in Brazil.
The penalties for hunting in Brazil are not very severe. The hunter will be escorted to the nearest precinct and will be required to sign an agreement pledging to attend a hearing. Typically an agreement is made with the prosecutor where the hunter instead of being imprisoned, agrees to donate food or perform community services.
In recurring cases where the same hunter is caught twice over a five year period the penalties are: payment of an administrative fine to the state’s Secretariat of the Environment and imprisonment between six months and one year. This sentence can be increased by up to 50% of the time of imprisonment and the value of the fine if the species that was hunted was endangered.
Although the law explicitly decrees that hunting is prohibited in Brazil, according to a law in 1967 that is still valid today, the government is supposed to stimulate the establishment and operation of amateurish clubs and societies for hunting and shooting in order to reach the associative spirit arising from these activities. Also, the government will stimulate the construction of breeding sites for the rearing of wild animals for economic and industrial purposes.
Despite the ban on amateur or sport hunting in Brazil, there are numerous stores that specialize in selling hunting articles and firearms for this sport.