By Jacob Chamberlain,
Hunting for sport is 'not a sport but a cruelty,' say lawmakers.
Costa Rica, one of the world's most biodiverse countries, became the first Latin American nation to ban hunting as a sport on Monday in a unanimous vote on the Wildlife Conservation bill in Congress.
President Laura Chinchilla is expected to sign the new bill into law.
The law "will allow us to live in peace with other living things that share our planet," said assembly president Victor Emilio Granadas.
"I believe this is a message we give to future generations, that an activity like sport hunting is not a sport but a cruelty," added Granadas.
"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 organization behind the reform.
Under the new law anyone caught hunting for sport within Costa Rica can be put in jail for four months and fined up to $3,000. The new law also includes smaller penalties for capturing wild animals. Animals protected under the law include Jaguars, pumas, sea turtles, tapirs, several tropical birds, and many other rare species.