On Monday, the Senate of Romania adopted a draft law initiated by the Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania (RMDSZ), setting prevention and intervention quotas for the Romanian bear population, in order to reauthorize bear hunting. The draft law still has to be approved by the Chamber of Deputies.
The draft law was presented by Barna Tánczos, former Romanian Minister of Environment, and supported by 103 government and opposition MPs.
It would reopen the hunting season, allowing 426 bears to be shot for prevention and 55 for intervention.
Referring to an expert study, the draft states that the bear population in Romania is constantly overpopulating, and they are a threat to human life and property when the bears leave their natural habitat. Furthermore, the increasing number of bear-human interactions is also harmful to the species.
In addition to immediate intervention, only prevention can ensure the reduction of human-bear conflicts in the long term. Therefore, we are reintroducing hunting based on scientific studies, in compliance with the regulations on the protection of the species,”
said Senator Barna Tánczos.
The Senator thinks that the Romanian government should continue to implement the package of measures initiated during his tenure as minister. “Immediate intervention is needed against dangerous bears, the program to support the purchase of electric fences should be continued, and compensation for damages caused by bears should be paid. The cabinet should also carry out regular stock assessments,” he added.
Barna Tánczos expressed the hope that the draft law would receive the support of the Chamber of Deputies, the main decision-maker. The draft complements the government’s emergency decree on immediate intervention and the hunting law, requiring hunting associations to take genetic samples when shooting bears and banning the shooting of capitulated males and mother bears with cubs.
In Romania, bear hunting was banned in 2016, and currently the protected species can only be shot for intervention purposes, when it endangers human life. According to a survey presented earlier by the Ministry of Environment, the number of wild brown bears in the country could be between 7,500 and 8,100.
Reports from hunters show that brown bears are becoming increasingly common in areas that are not considered their optimal habitat. For instance, based on press reports, bears have been seen recently in several municipalities in the region of Țara Călatei (Kalotaszeg), including Mera (Méra), 15 km from Cluj-Napoca (Kolozsvár).
Via MTI, Featured image: Pixabay