Romania’s new minister of environment halves but upholds bear hunting quota
Romanian minister of environment Mircea Fechet said he would issue a new order regarding the prevention and intervention quotas for the brown bear population, which will target 220 animals.
Tanczos Barna, Fechet’s predecessor, planned for 480 bears to be eliminated.
"I believe that on such a sensitive subject, from several points of view, partly due to the risks that the interaction between humans and bears can generate, and unfortunately, we have had countless such situations, I think we should handle this subject with great caution,” the minister said, cited by Digi24.
Fechet maintained that the subject is a sensitive one requiring the opinions of specialists but argued that there is also a need for consultation on a societal level.
"[...] we will have a new order regarding the prevention and intervention quotas for the brown bear population, which, on the one hand, we will send for public consultation and, on the other hand, we will send back to the Romanian Academy for approval. (...) The quotas will be those proposed by the Academy, namely 140 specimens for the prevention quota and 80 specimens for the intervention quota. This means 220 bears, compared to nearly 500 as initially provided in the order," Fechet added.
The Romanian minister expressed his opposition to the trophy hunting of bears. However, according to Fechet, there will always be NGOs that will oppose any form of euthanasia or extraction of brown bears, just as there will be people who send messages related to the havoc caused by these animals. What remains a constant, however, is that the authorities need to intervene, he said.
"When we are in the situation of extracting a specimen, whether by shooting or euthanasia, this process will be carried out by personnel employed by the hunting fund, in other words, we should not risk finding ourselves again in that situation that I do not want to face again, namely a person from another country coming to pay a huge amount of money and shooting a very valuable specimen in the middle of the forest,” he said, referencing a case in 2021 when a prince from Liechtenstein shot Arthur, said to be the biggest brown bear in Romania.
(Photo source: Inquam Photos | George Calin)