Animals – Potsdam – Controversial debate over the reorganization of the hunting community

Potsdam (dpa/bb) – Brandenburg’s new hunting law is causing contentious debates between hunting associations and environmentalists. The two sides gave their opinion on the draft fishing law to the Ministry of Agriculture, Environment and Climate Protection on Friday. The draft was met with severe criticism from organizations and associations involved in fishing. In a position paper, they dismiss it as “animal friendly”. On the other hand, nature conservation associations, clubs and forest managers supported the project of Minister of Environment and Agriculture Axel Vogel (The Greens) and saw a unity between the forest and wildlife.

With the change in hunting law, Vogel wants to achieve better organization of game groups with higher animal protection. Presenting the draft, he said that the forest is suffering from the repercussions of the climate crisis. Among other things, this stipulates that forest owners can create their own hunting grounds with an area of ​​​​at least ten hectares – no longer from only 150 hectares or, in exceptional cases, half of them.

This gave smaller area managers more say and could decide how to chase their terrain, Eno Rosenthal, president of the Brandenburg FE Forester Farmers’ Association, said Friday in an online news conference. Because out of 150 hectares, 99 percent of landowners are excluded from fishing on their land. Its members wanted a well-groomed forest and needed to give them the opportunity to turn mono-cultivating pine forests into mixed forests. This is only possible if hoofed game – such as fallow deer or roe deer – is limited.

Eckhard Faure, vice president of the Ecological Hunting Association Berlin-Brandenburg, warned that large stocks of hoofed game have impeded the natural regeneration of forests and led to a sharp decline in biodiversity. Climate change increases the pressure to act. There are three guiding principles behind reorienting fishing. “This is to strengthen the owners by significantly reducing the minimum size of the hunt, to remove extensive hunting bureaucracy by abolishing all shooting plans and to enhance the welfare of the animals.”

Six organisations, including the German Hunting Association (DJV), the Federal Association of German Professional Hunters (BDB) and the German Wildlife Foundation, criticize that transforming the forest should only succeed by shooting more herbivores. They accuse Minister Fogel of drafting a technically poorly drafted hunting law that focuses exclusively on the forest. This is only 35 percent of the country’s area.

From a biological point of view, hunters consider reducing their hunting grounds to at least ten hectares a “flagrant violation” of the Animal Welfare Act. There is a high risk that this will destroy the social structures of wild animals that form groups with large space requirements, such as red deer.

Fuhr accused the state fishing association of “confrontational politics” and working with “half-truths”. The Nature Conservation Society Naboo made a similar statement. “We must agree that the bill is there to preserve our nature,” said association representative Karl-Heinz Marchka.

Fisher organizations and associations noted in their position paper that the State Forestry Agency determined in a final report on forest conversion assessment in 2021 that 90 percent of regeneration in the forest conversion areas examined showed little or no damage. From the game hooves. Peter Schindel, a conservation expert, from the Green League, noted that the fact that much of the area examined was fenced was not mentioned by hunting associations.

A self-confessed hunter considers innovations that enhance animal protection in the context of hunting important. This includes providing regular, qualified proof of filming performance. “If we can adapt the game stock by hunting so that the habitats are improving again, then these ecosystems can also withstand higher quarry densities, and on the other hand, these animal species look distinctly better off,” Schindel says. Since he was hunting “adapted to the jungle”, the deer became more lively.

© dpa-infocom, dpa: 220422-99-04253 / 3

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