Gambia: Herdsman Justifies His Reasons for Killing Antelope

A herdsman facing charges for killing an antelope has on Wednesday, 4th September, commenced his defence before a magistrate's court in the North Bank Region.

He is facing charges of illegally killing an antelope at the Nuimi National Park contrary to section 61 of the Biological Resources of the National Park Act.

Alieu Jallow, who is residing in Essau, said he slaughtered an antelope he found dying in the bush .He said the animal sustained serious wounds: adding that he did not want it to become a lump of waste meat.

Explaining the incident, Jallow said on 12th June 2019, he went to the bush with his son looking for some of their cattle that failed to return home. He said on their way home, they found an injured antelope lying, and was not shaking. He said that was the reason he slaughtered the animal so that it will not be 'a waste meat' when it dies.

"When I realized that if I left it there it will die, then I slaughtered it with my knife," he testified.

He said after the antelope was slaughtered, he took it home and ate some portion of the meat with his family while the remaining quota was given to his neighbours.

He said his house was searched by prosecution witness 1, Sarjo Manneh, who recovered the four legs of the antelope (exhibit P1) and took them to Barra Police Station. He said he was arrested and charged for killing the antelope.

During cross-examination, prosecutor Kebba asked the accused whether he found wounds on the antelope.

"I found wounds on the stomach," he said, adding "it was bleeding."

The witness refused the prosecutor's suggestion that he was the one who harmed the antelope.

"Even if I left it there, it was going to die," Jallow said.

"What do you think caused the wound?" prosecutor Ceesay asked.

Jallow responded by saying he wouldn't know because he found the antelope lying down as he was returning home with his son, adding the wounds sustained by the animal were serious.

He said he has never been accused of killing a bush animal.

Jallow is facing trial before Magistrate Ebrima Sowe of the Essau Magistrates Court.

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