Environment minister Gratiela Gavrilescu announced on July 5 that she would issue a minister order that would allow the killing of 175 bears this year.
The announcement was made after hundreds of people from Harghita, Covasna, and Mures counties protested in Bucharest for the right to hunt bears. They said that these animals’ attacks on domestic animals, crops, and people have increased.
“A minister order will be issued today, which will also be sent to the Romanian Academy for approval, an order on the intervention quota for large carnivores. These quotas are based on research done under the European Directive for large carnivores, being also based on the working group’s decision given by ministerial order in 2016, a decision establishing the intervention quota for large carnivores, which for 2017, for bears, is 350. Taking into account that we are at the middle of the year, the quota would be about 175,” the minister said, reports local Adevarul.
In a press release issued the same day, the Ministry of Environment announced that it would put up for public debate “the order approving the level of intervention for bears and wolves.”
“The Ministry of the Environment has a dual responsibility: on one hand, it must take all measures to ensure that the population is safe and avoid human-nature conflicts and, on the other hand, has the responsibility of conserving these species protected by law,” reads the statement.
“The intervention quotas for large carnivores were suspended in 2016. Thus, almost one year after this decision was taken, we find ourselves in the situation where human-nature conflicts are more and more common.”
In October 2016, the environment minister at that time, Cristina Pasca Palmer, cancelled an order that allowed the hunting of almost 1,700 protected wild animals, after a strong opposition from local environmental organizations and negative reactions in the social media. This category included brown bears, wolves, and wildcats.
Irina Marica, [email protected]