Romanian court bans hunting of dozens of species of wild birds

Romanian Ornithological Society, foto Emil Todorov
Romanian Ornithological Society, foto Emil Todorov

A Romanian court has suspended hunting quotas for dozens of species of wild bird for the upcoming hunting season, in a ruling that was welcomed by the Romanian Ornithological Society

The Brasov Court of Appeal ruled on August 20 that the hunting of 36 species would be banned for the 2020-2021 season. The ruling which goes into effect immediately can be appealed.

Under the ruling, the wood pigeon, the European turtle dove, the quail, the Eurasian skylark,  the mallard, the Eurasian teal, the tufted duck, the common moorhen, the Eurasian woodcock, and the Eurasian magpie and other bird species can’t be hunted in the 2020-2021 season.

The hunting season begins on September 15. Many of the birds are considered delicacies or hunted for sport by Romanians and foreigners.

The Alliance for Combating Abuses Association, a non-governmental organization brought the lawsuit.

The ornithological society called it “a welcome premiere for Romania, in the circumstances where the court has managed to create a jurisprudence at a national level in protecting the environment and biodiversity of which species of wild birds are an important part.”

Biologist Dorin Damoc said the reason for the court decision was that there was “no clear methodology to establish hunting quotas.”

He said the ornithological society had made numerous complaints to the environment ministry that there was no legal procedure to establish quotas so that “the number of birds which can be shot in such a way that the species isn’t affected.”

In October 2019, the same Brasov court placed a hunting ban on skylarks and three other species of birds for the 2019-2020 season.  

The same association sued the water and forestry ministry for allowing a hunting quota of more than 430,000 larks this year.

The hunting quotas covered four species of migratory birds: the Eurasian skylark, the redwing, the greater scaup and the common goldeneye.

The ornithological society claims the lark is used as a pretext by foreign hunters to shoot any kind of songbird.

It said that in other EU countries where lark hunting was allowed, citing Malta, France, Italy, Spain, Portugal and Cyprus, the lark was effectively wiped out.

Romania has 21.9 million hectares of hunting ground which are managed by almost 600 hunting associations.


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