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Afghan President Hamid Karzai today signed a decree banning the hunting of several kinds of wild animals, which includes a prohibition on the use of hand grenades and electronic devices for fishing.

In the decree, Karzai appeals to the public to help protect wildlife and the environment. He also called on high-ranking provincial officials to strictly apply the orders and penalize violators.

Government officials told RFE/RL's Radio Free Afghanistan that the rules may take time to be applied, but they will eventually be followed.

Animal rights and environmental organizations welcomed Karzai's step as an important way to improve the ecological situation in the country.

Large-scale illegal hunting has virtually eliminated several unique animal species in Afghanistan.

-- Afghan Service

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Written by RFE/RL editors and correspondents, Transmission serves up news, comment, and the odd silly dictator story. While our primary concern is with foreign policy, Transmission is also a place for the ideas -- some serious, some irreverent -- that bubble up from our bureaus. The name recognizes RFE/RL's role as a surrogate broadcaster to places without free media. You can write us at transmission+rferl.org

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