Iran’s Department of the Environment has announced that due to the critical state of endangered wildlife in Iran, the ban on hunting is now being very strictly enforced.

IRNA reports that Massoumeh Ebtekar, the head of the Department of the Environment, was speaking at a gathering of nature and wildlife activists to celebrate the Protection Project of Asiatic Cheetah when she said hunting is banned even with licensed weapons.

She encouraged hunters to use cameras rather than weapons to capture the feel of the hunt.

Ebtekar added that the Department of the Environment is considering new policies and plans to raise awareness and public concern for environmental issues.

The Asiatic cheetah, according to Ebtekar, is extinct in all of its many habitats except for Iran, and the international project to save it is already showing success.

Ebtekar acknowledged that the number of environment rangers and guards is low and her department is making every effort to secure funds to boost that number.