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Overhunting : A social media campaign against Stati after sharing photos of his trophy kills

A number of photos found their way to the Internet showing Moroccan singer Abdelaziz Stati with a huge number of slain birds. Replying to that, an association fighting against poaching has launched a campaign on Facebook to stop such a behavior. Details.

Abdelaziz Stati posing with dead birds./Ph. Facebook
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A series of photos on social media and most precisely Facebook, have created a wave of anger among hunters in Morocco. The pictures show Abdelaziz Stati, a famous Chaabi music singer who has always declared to the media that he was fascinated about hunting, posing with his gun and a huge number of birds in one of the photos, and with four rabbits in another one. The outraging photos were the subject of a social media campaign conducted by an association called «Association Cynégétique et la lutte contre le braconnage au Maroc», that works on showcasing and reporting all illegal practices when it comes to hunting in Morocco. 

Accusing the popular singer of poaching, the president of the association, Ali Saadoun a hunter who is dedicated to the fight against overhunting, declared to Yabiladi that «the singer’s behavior is considered a reckless one». Saadoun confirmed that «Statihas been overhunting, using tools that shouldn’t be used and posting his shameful deeds on the Internet».  As for the photos published by the singer on his social media, Saadoun pointed out that «a public figure like Abdelaziz Statishouldn’t encourage people and his fans to do the same thing posting photos of himself next to an exaggeratedly high number of birds» while also indicating that every single hunter is allowed to shoot a specific number of wild animals depending on the breed. 

Stati replying to accusation

Replying to the accusation, Yabiladi spoke to Abdelaziz Stati and asked him about the photos to which he replied that he was not alone shooting all those birds. «I was out with 8 friends who are also hunters and we shot the authorized number of birds every one of us is allowed to shoot», Stati argued. «It was all legal. It is a ritual for me to take a photo at the end of the day with the birds I and my friends shot, they just don’t want to be part of the photos as I always like to share them on my social media and with my fans», he explained. 

Defending himself against what has been said on Facebook, Statitold Yabiladi that «a hunter is allowed to shoot 100 birds in 48 hours and I did nothing but abiding to the law regulating the hobby».  

Violent photos

However, Stati’s photos showcasing his trophy kills have been highly criticized by other associations. Speaking to the president of «Groupe d’ornithologie du Maroc» (GOMAC), an association that works on raising awareness among people and hunters regarding wild animals, Brahim Bakass stated that «the real problem behind overhunting is linked to controlling hunters and supervising their activities». «Laws and regulations are there and I believe that they are enough to fight against overhunting but it is hard to make sure that hunters are abiding by the rules», the GOMAC president indicated.  And regarding the photos of Stati, Bakass told Yabiladi that  these kind of photos are quite «violent». 

For Ali Saadou, these photos are not just violent; they are «illegal» as in one of them the singer is posing next to 4 rabbits that were captured by a trap which according to the association’s president is illegal. Indeed, according to the decree issued by the Ministry of Justice to control hunting, it is stated in the article 169 that «no one (hunter) shall possess nets and other prohibited hunting equipment». 

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