Working group established to investigate gazelles’ carcasses

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    Last week, on March 25, citizens published on the Internet the picture with dead herd of gazelles that were going to be buried near Menen Steppe in Dornod Province. In connection with the situation, the government established a working group, and the working group included the Minister of the Environment and Tourism, B.Bat-Erdene, Minister of Justice and Home Affairs, Kh.Nyambaatar, and Minister of Food, Agriculture and Light Industry, Kh.Bolorchuluun. An emergency task force was launched, and the following personnels are working in Dornod Province.:

  • • Ministry of Justice and Home Affairs: Inspection Unit of Police Organization and Ecological Police Service;
  • • Ministry of Environment and Tourism: Environment and Industry Monitoring Working Group;
  • • Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Light Industry: A working group with a veterinary laboratory.

A.Gantulga, head of the Department of Environment and Tourism of Dornod Province, said, “The working group of the Ministry of Environment and Tourism has been working in Dornod Province since March 24. In the process, the video was spread on social networks about the death of the gazelle in the operating area of the ‘PetroChina Dachin Tamsag’ company. Working groups are working to determine this. In addition to the working group appointed by the Ministry, more than 10 people are working together, including the joint working group led by the Provincial Ecological Police. We cannot immediately judge the situation. The results of the working group’s conclusions and analysis have not yet been released. Arbitrary destruction of carcasses, which should be destroyed according to the relevant laws, is becoming illegal. The general requirements for destruction and disinfection of animal carcasses and infection control instructions may have been violated.”

He also continued, “To reduce environmental pollution, animal carcasses may have been collected. However, there may have been a procedural error in the disposal of the carcass. A joint mobile laboratory of the Ecological Police and forensics will take samples from soil, water, and animal carcasses to determine whether they have died due to disease, poisoning, or weather conditions. The company’s employees have collected animal carcasses before, so they are well aware of the relevant laws and regulations.”

Preliminary, 300 gazelle carcasses discovered

The Ministry of Environment and Tourism clarified this issue on March 27, “The working group appointed by the Ministry inspected the 19th site of the ‘PetroChina Dachin Tamsag’ company starting from last Thursday, March 23. It was found that the company was using water without a water contract. Also, the company did not fulfill its water user contract and drilled the well without official permission. Officials sealed the site and handed it over to the local community. Even though it has a special license for hazardous chemicals, storage, and protection issues were violated. Samples were taken, and transported to the site, inventory was carried out and confirmed. Also, the treatment plant had not been tested since 2021. Further violations will be investigated. Evidence is now being collected.”

In addition, B. Bat-Erdene, Minister of Environment and Tourism, reported, “Previously, local people could not enter the field of ‘PetroChina Dachin Tamsag’ company. This problem became clear on March 26. Our task force worked quickly and reported the situation. Accordingly, Prime Minister L.Oyun-Erdene appointed a working group headed by three ministers and assigned tasks. Measures are being taken quickly. On the part of the Governor of Dornod Province, daily environmental control cannot be established in the activities of the ‘PetroChina Dachin Tamsag’ company. Therefore, a request was made that the province should pay the expenses and give the official approval for supervision by the branch ministry. This work is being negotiated. Our ministry does not have the right to cancel the special license of the company, and only has the right to make suggestions.”

Previously, it was hidden that an oil transport truck of the ‘PetroChina Dachin Tamsag’ company crashed and spilled crude oil into the ground. There are three million gazelles registered in Mongolia. About one million of them live in Dornod Province.

Dashmaa D