A pile of dead Short-toed Snake Eagles lie on the ground in Zgharta. (The Daily Star/Fouad Itani)
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Lebanon's official hunting season began earlier this month with a new law in place aimed at regulating the popular activity, but experts say the law is largely unenforced.Lebanon's 2017 hunting season began on Sept. 15 and will end in January based on new regulations for hunters that were announced by Environment Minister Tarek Khatib last April. However, even before the hunting season began, the international anti-poaching NGO the Committee Against Bird Slaughter discovered flagrant breaches of the law.CABS has been working on bird conservation in Lebanon from afar for around five years, sparked by widely shared pictures of protected species killed by Lebanese hunters.The insect species have infested many of Lebanon's stone pines – a feature of Lebanon's landscape for generations – killing branches and leaving pine cones empty of their seeds.Prospective hunters must now pass physical and mental health exams in addition to practical exams on hunting laws, which bird species are legal to hunt and their annual quotas before obtaining a license. Having visited Lebanon, Hirchfeld said he had "zero" confidence in Lebanese authorities effectively enforcing the law.
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