Tag Archives: hunting

Europe biodiversity threatened

“In its conclusions , the Council reaffirms that the EU and its member states will lead and step up efforts to halt biodiversity loss and restore ecosystems. The conclusions provide political guidance for the work towards a post-2020 global biodiversity framework. The Council also calls upon the Commission to develop without delay an ambitious, realistic and coherent 2030 EU biodiversity strategy as a central element of the European Green Deal.

“Member states unanimously stress the need for urgent global action at all levels to halt biodiversity loss. The Council notes with serious concern the alarming state of nature, with around one million species at risk of extinction, and the severe implications of unabated climate change. The Council underlines the importance for the EU and its member states to develop and adopt national biodiversity strategies and action plans (NBSAPs) for achieving the post-2020 global biodiversity framework.


“The Council is committed to leading by example and making a robust contribution to the adoption of an ambitious and realistic post-2020 global biodiversity framework to halt the loss of and restore biodiversity by 2030. It is also committed to mainstreaming biodiversity into all relevant EU policies such as the new common agricultural policy (CAP). Member states unanimously underline the need to eliminate subsidies harmful to biodiversity and to enhance the review of the implementation and accountability of nature and biodiversity policies, actions and commitments, with the aim of stepping up actions on all levels.

“In addition, the Council calls for the full, effective and coherent integration of biodiversity into the design and implementation of the EU’s multiannual financial framework (MFF) 2021-2027 as well as in future policies such as the common fisheries policy and the circular economy action plan. Member states will accelerate the transition towards a resource-efficient, safe, circular and climate-neutral economy that also protects and restores biodiversity and ecosystem services.

“Member states underline the importance of making domestic and international financial flows, including in public procurement, consistent with the post-2020 global biodiversity framework.

“The Council will revert to this issue in order to adopt a mandate for the EU position in the negotiations at the UN biodiversity conference (CBD COP15) in October 2020 in Kunming, China. The landmark conference is due to agree a post-2020 global biodiversity framework.”

Putin approves crossbow hunting

This month Russians have received permission to hunt in an archaic way with crossbows and bows. The “licence to kill” was signed by President Vladimir Putin, who is a hunter himself, explaining it as a part of “national tradition“. The proponents of archery method of hunting underlined that it will allow many more people to join  two million strong ranks of Russian hunters. Among critics of the bow hunting are not only animal welfare defenders, veterinarians, ecologists, and humanists, who denounce it as barbarism, but also economists, who underline that the permission of archaic forms of hunting indicates profound malaise of government, unable to ensure modern urban lifestyle for majority of Russians, providing them with affordable, safe, sanitary controlled food, replacing it by game meats, representing health risks.

Allowing primitive methods of hunting, and engaging broader public into providing themselves with game meat,  is an indirect recognition of food shortage, especially in Siberia, where lately a problem of hungry children falling unconscious in schools occurred. “..And if you are not lucky in hunting with bows, you have to eat grass” Russian social networks react.

This year children’s ombudsman of Kuzbass said that pupils in schools in Kemerovo (West Siberia) region suffered hungry faints, because parents do not have means for breakfast at home, and even less so to give them 50 rubles (EUR 0,7) to pay for school meals.

Allowing hunting with crossbows and bows upon the licence and a permit and registration of weapons, the new law will  have “the most positive impact on the development of the entire hunting industry in Russia, as well as on the image of Russia as a great hunting power”, according to opinion of Russian  State Duma.

Earlier, Vladimir Lebedev, deputy chairman of the Committee of the Federation Council on Agriculture and Food Policy, said that Russians have tens of thousands of such weapons, so its legalization for hunting will be useful for amateur hunters. 

The number of hunters in Russia has almost doubled in recent years, but unfortunately the scale of action of the poachers has also multiplied. Local residents in Siberia complain, that poaching have reached a level of organised industry: some shoot, others transport, skin killed animals to deliver of skilled salesman of game meat. (Tweet below: ad of Siberian bear meat).

Siberian  veterinarians warn of the danger of infection of people from game meats that have not passed sanitary control: the consequences can be devastating for human health, even lethal if not timely diagnosed. A significant proportion of bear meat is unsuitable for consumption, since the animals are  vehicles of a number of diseases dangerous for humans, namely Trichinosisa parasitic disease caused by roundworms. Wild bore, moose, and especially reindeer are the most frequent vehicles of Cysticercosis, fatal to human brain as a frequent site of localization, among other consequences is liver failure.

In Siberia game meat is delivered, in particular, to cafes on the highways, where sanitary inspections are rare. In most places it is unclear if meat has passed sanitary control and the procedures required by food safety standard.

Among exotic meats wolf  flesh is among most expensive in Russia, amounting to 30 euro/kg (RUB2000). Next to bear consumption, it gains popularity under Chinese influences in Siberia, where lately more cases of dog consumption have been reported. There is also a rapidly growing black market of exporting parts of wild life to China for transitional medicine.

Across the European Union the crossbows for hunting is prohibited as barbarism. Having an impact of more than 40 kg, in case of a hunting accident, the damages to human body are incompatible with life, causing internal bleeding. Even in countries where bows are allowed for hunting, crossbows are strictly prohibited.

The bow hunting however is allowed locally in some countries as Denmark, France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Hungary, Finland, Bulgaria and Slovenia practice restricted archery,  Estonia also allows bow hunting, but for a small game.

Bear with cub

Russian animal rights group VITA launched a champagne to veto the law, insisting that archery as hunting method is degrading to human beings, reversing the development of humankind, devastating to nature, and atrocious to animals.



Licence to kill last wolf in Meurthe-et-Moselle

In in the coming weeks the prefecture of Meurthe-et-Moselle (France) will authorize  shooting of the wolf, accused of a multitude of herd attacks, especially in the south of the department. the decision announced on July 4th. The licence to kill the last surviving wolf is considered as pro-hunting lobby success, phrasing the understanding and sympathy of President Macron to their passion to spend free time killing wild animals. In March Emmanuel Macron announced that from 17% to 19% of the population of wolves can be slaughtered, while the scientific expertise, commissioned by the Ministry of Ecology, indicates that the permissions to hunt should not to exceed 10% of the estimated number so that the population presenting a numerical balance remains stable.

The wolf protection French NGO CAP Loup launched an appeal the state to abandon its plans to slaughter 500 wolves, and to prioritize the policy of protection of herds. They also insist on inclusion in the National Wolf Plan a precision that shooting a wolf should remain a justifiable exception, as provided for by the derogation rules of Annex IV of the Habitats Directive, and not a political solution of ease that becomes the rule.

French conservationists consider the extermination of 500 wolves is not a reasonable measure, pointing that  “France is increasingly  in contradiction with the international texts of the Bern Convention and especially the European Habitats Directive”. Limiting the wolf population in France to its current size means keeping it in a “vulnerablestatus quo, as defined by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), which is “not a favorable conservation status”, CAP Loup underlines.

Sami ask for UN protection from Russian hunting club

Sami, an indigenous people living in the Murmansk region, in north of Russia, appealed to the United Nations (UN) with a complaint against the actions of the regional government. Representatives of the Sami community complained about the transfer of the pasture lands of the state farm in a long-term lease to the Belgorod Hunting Club (BEZRK).

The management of the Olenevod state farm, specialized in reindeer, and the Sami Heritage and Development Fund state in their appeal underlined that the auction for the right to use the land was held without the consent of the indigenous population living compactly in this territory. As a result, the right to the free use of lands necessary for traditional farming, guaranteed by the Federal Law, was violated.

Sami accused officials of violating a number of articles of the International Convention on Indigenous Peoples and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, writes Novaya Gazeta, specifying that the lands on the Ponoi River, where the reindeer migrate and where the wintering grounds for pregnant female moose are located, were transferred to the Belgorod hunting club “BEZRK” this winter.

Earlier Sami activists filed a similar complaint with the Russian presidential administration. They asked to keep the so-called “maternity hospital” for the Ponoi elks in the Lovozero in the Murmansk region, drawing the authorities’s attention to the fact that it would be destroyed by the transfer of land to the hunting club. However, local officials claim that there are no permits for the use of land by reindeer herders, no contracts have been concluded with them, and no official permits have been issued for reindeer herders on the disputed land plots. Having received zero aid from the administration of Vladimir Putin, the Sami decided to apply to the UN.

At present there is a hunting boom among Russian nouveaux riches who dramatically lack political, social and cultural sophistication, confusing killing of wild animals for noble occupation, contributing to upgrading their status. There are numerous avid hunters among members of Russian Duma, an also among Federation Council, reflecting interests of hunting lobby, led by senator – avid hunter Andrei Klishas. The situation explains the decision of the Sami community to address the United Nations because only very few would believe they could win against all-powerful hunting lobby, pursuing the interest  to kill the best of wildlife.

Saami or Sami, Laplanders, Kild are a small Finno-Ugric people,  living in Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia. The habitat of the Sami settlement stretches from the eastern tip of the Kola Peninsula through the north of Finland and Norway to the central part of the Scandinavian Peninsula.

The Sami, 1770 people  in 2010, have a clear national identity, their own flag and anthem, and their rights are represented by elected bodies of cultural self-government – the Sami parliaments.

The main occupations of the Sami have been reindeer herding, fishing, sea and land hunting.

Russian hunting club invasion into their territory is the second blow to Sami people after they suffered a defeat from Norway government in the end of March, deciding to move on with copper mine construction in their traditional habitat. The resolve came after years of Sami struggle in different fora.

Review by Anna van Densky

Wolf diversity destructed by hunters

Many species face current populations declines, which is often a consequence of human behavior e.g. hunting, habitat destruction. This leads to genetic bottlenecks. Once genes have been lost from a population, they are irreversibly lost, and the population left behind is weaker and less able to adapt to future changes in their environment.

Wolves in Europe are currently experiencing this genetic bottleneck, due to historic hunting and the subsequent slow re-population. In response to this, scientists from the University of Lausanne sequenced the DNA of 150 wolves from museums all across Europe. Their objective was to find out if the decline in the wolf population during the last two centuries influenced the wolf’s genetics.

The study shows that just one century ago, the genetic diversity of the wolf was more than double that of the current wolf population. At the same time the individual wolves across Europe were genetically more similar to each other than today. This suggests that there was more gene flow in the past, and that wolf populations were larger. The findings are in line with the prosecution of the wolf on the whole continent in the 19-20th centuries. The results of the study also shows that the Italian wolf sub-species used to be present in other parts of Europe as well.

The scientists also found significant genetic differences between modern Eastern and Western European wolves. Hunting nearly completely eradicated the wolf in Western Europe in the 19th and 20th century. As a consequence, its genetic diversity significantly decreased at the turn of the 20th century. The re-population by the remaining wolves is the cause for the significant changes in modern wolf genetic composition. This development is in contrast to the Eastern European wolf populations, which have never been hunted to such an extent as the wolves in Western Europe. These Eastern European populations still show a similar genetic diversity as a hundred years ago.


Policemen shot ‘mistaken’ for wolves near Rimini

Two brothers were cited this week for firing on police after mistaking movements for those of wolves in the hills near Rimini this week.
The incident took place at Serra di Valpiano at Pennabilli while police and forest rangers were engaged in a tracking activity called wolf bowling -ANSA news  agency reports. Image: illustration

Malta nominates Bird Hero 2018

Nimrod Mifsud, a BirdLife Malta volunteer for over ten years, has shown passion and drive in his efforts to help birds migrating over Malta leave safely without being trapped or killed by hunters in line with island’s an ancient tradition of hostility against birds.

“Nimrod demonstrates a passion and drive for ensuring birds migrating over Malta leave our islands safely without persecution”, says Mark Sultana, BirdLife Malta’s CEO. “He has suffered verbal and physical abuse while out monitoring illegal hunting. Thanks to his interventions, illegal hunters and trappers have been brought to justice. He is an excellent mentor for new volunteers, keeping the group motivated at difficult times. His willingness to go above and beyond also means he is always on hand to provide extra support when it comes to ensuring that birds are protected. Nimrod is also skilled in transmitting his passion to nature protection to others and is an essential asset during campaigns and educational events.”


Russia’s Imperial present to poachers

Anna van Densky, OPINON

A specially generous gift has been made by Russian Ministry of Nature to poachers and hunters removing the most protected species from the Red Book. During the end of year celebrations startled Russians discovered that the Ministry, supposedly devoted to protection of nature and endangered animals, openly made a gesture pleasing the poachers, and hunters rejoicing over decriminalisation of killing of rarest species – the the wildest dreams trophies.

The species under threat of extinction, in particular the snow sheep (Ovis nivicola), the Himalayan black bear (Ursus thibetanus laniger), and even the majestic snow leopard (Panthera uncia) disappeared from the Red Book. A group of prominent academics from the Russian Academy of Sciences presumed that this is due to a hunting lobby.

The academics wrote a letter to Russian President Vladimir Putin with a request to speak in defense of Russian environmental science and instruct to abolish the decision taken by the Ministry of Natural Resources. (Open letter in Tweet below):

“The Red Book is in danger! The extincting species removed, but already extinct added. Who benefit from the farse with “dead souls”? Russia legalises the killings of Red Book animals?” – says the tweet of VITA Russian animal protection centre.


Snow leopard

“By the end of the Year of Ecology and the year of specially protected natural areas, the Minister of Natural Resources and Ecology Sergei Donskoi signed an order (ukaz) approving of fauna listed in the Red Book of the Russian Federation and expelled from it,” –  the deputy director of a department of the Ministry of Natural Resources Igor Davydov said, quoted by RIA Novosti.

The Red Book has not been updated since 1998, with the exception of three changes introduced in a decade. At the same time it is desirable to conduct an audit every ten years, the department insisted.

Lebedev SF

Recently Russian upper chamber of parliament the Council of Federation has been implicated in another scandal, actively lobbying interests of hunters. Dubbed as a ‘Club of billionaires’ senators defend the most violent and abhorret forms of hunting, as ‘cubbing’ – training dogs on wild animals shredding them into pieces. (Pictured: senator Vladimir Lebedev, hunter and deputy chair of the Committee for Agriculture and Nature of Russia’s Federation Council with his trophy as a featured image, and during the hearing in the Council above).

Many Russian nouveaux riches, including senators-oligarchs, are well-known for their megalomania purchasing chateaux in Europe and penchant for restoration of life-style of late tsars at home, indulging themselves in hunting, presumably to mask their too modest origins, and a dramatic lack of culture.

Next to entertainment of Russian nouveaux riches  the lifted hunting ban ensures flows of foreign fans of bloody “sports” as an additional source of income for state purse, and local communities in decline, especially after the application of the EU sanctions against Kremlin.




Trump retreats on imports of hunting trophies

President Donald Trump said in a tweet on Friday he is putting a decision to allow imports of elephant trophies on hold after a torrent of criticism from conservation advocates and across social media.

Trump’s reversal came hours after his administration released a rule on Friday to allow hunters who kill elephants in Zimbabwe to bring their trophies back to the United States, which had been banned by the Obama administration.

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said in a statement that he had spoken with Trump and “both believe that conservation and healthy herds are critical.” He said the “issuing of permits is being put on hold as the decision is being reviewed.”

Early word of the planned change had drawn protests from conservationists, who said it could deplete already at-risk elephant populations. It also caused a social media firestorm, with opponents posting photos of President Donald Trump’s sons Donald Jr. and Eric, avid hunters, posing with dead wild animals.


Russia: Bear cub sadistic killing unpunished

WARNING! Disturbing images below.

Russian news site Sakhalin info and social media reported sadistic torture and murder of a bear cub for the sake of his gull by locals in city of Makarovo (Sakhalin). A cub appeared in a residential area in outskirts of the city, when locals prevented him to go back to the forest, quickly deciding to grab a chance to kill a young bear to get his gull for sale (at the black market the price goes from  $10,000  to  $15,000). With active participation of police, eager to get a ‘fair share’, the cub had no chance to survive, becoming an easy prey of Makarovo inhabitants, whose average salary is around $ 400 a month. However it was not just an execution, because beyond the gain, the hunters took pleasure in an abhorrent torture of a cub, entertaining themselves by his agony.

First locals send a pack of dogs to block the frightened screaming young bear to prevent his retreat to the forest, then they rushed to shoot him, and while still alive to cut his balley, and rip off the precious gull, appreciated by witch doctors, and the other charlatans in the Far East. At the moment the video of a sadistic scene is removed from internet to conceal the crime, in which police has enthusiastically participated. Already without a gull, the agonising, convulsive animal with open bally, and falling out intestines, was attached to a vehicle and dragged along the road in a ‘triumph’ procession (photo above in a Tweet).

The sadism towards animals is norm in Russia, and does not surprise anyone. President’s Putin administration has been consistently blocking the laws protecting animals from cruelty, prepared in times of  Boris Yeltsin, who attempted to upgrade Russian legislation to Western standards.

Being a symbol of Russia, in reality bear’s population has at most miserable existence, trapped and killed by hunters and poachers for the sake of their precious gulls or skin. The orphan bear cubs are sold to circuses, zoos, and kept privately in cages as ‘pets’ next to restaurants to entertain visitors, being victims of cruelty, and wide-spread sadism.

(Below a story of a bear living 15 years in a cage near a cafe, next to city of Smolensk)

In 2015 an employer of “Rusalliance” company, a subcontractor of Defence Ministry of Russian Federation,  at island of Wrangel (Chukotka) gave for ‘fun’ explosives to a mother white bear who was tamed by militarymen. With torn apart throat the animal suffered an atrocious agony, filmed by culprits, who were fascinated by the scene of suffering of the majestic Arctic animal.

White bear with cub

In spite of the outrage of animal rights defenders, and multiple petitions to authorities, the murderer was not punished, but offered interviews on central TV channel to deliver his highly doubtful version of events. He got away with the crime by paying a symbolic amount of money in a fine for the sadistic killing of mother bear, and her doomed to death orphan cub. As in this case, traditionally, Russian prosecution is merciful towards the murderers and sadists of animals. According to records, Ivan the Terrible was encouraged to mutilate cats and dogs, and also cheered when throwing them life from the bell-towers by witnessing his killings boyars, who considered it as a sign of a strong character, indispensable for  a ruler.

On contrary to hunters, poachers and sadists, the animal rights defenders are seen as dangerous elements, introducing foreign, Western values to Russian traditional lifestyle. Their appeals for upgrading of Russian legal system to protect animals from human cruelty have been ignored since last millennium.

Sakhalin: a smart bear checks fishermen’s net:


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