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INT’L – WILDLIFE – No to a hunting law which allows ‘firing at will’

We receive two serious alarming scientific signals about the loss of our biodiversity. All the studies show that our species are rapidly disappearing. Switzerland has a Red List of species on the verge of extinction. We must do everything we can to preserve these species. But several of them are hunted. One can think, for example of the woodcock, which this amended law fails to protect despite it being on the Red List.

The question that we must ask is why continue to kill this bird? Does it damage agriculture? No. Does it damage human infrastructure? No. Do sales of this bird generate vital income for some sections of the population? No. So why? For the pleasure of it. It would almost make us smile if it were not so absurd. We criticise Africans for killing elephants but in reality, we are no better. Under the revised hunting law, it will be possible to kill a species even when it has not yet caused damage or harm. This is something very new because before, one had to demonstrate that there had been damage — and significant damage — to obtain authorisation to shoot. That will no longer be the case. On the other hand, the government can broaden the list of animals concerned without referring to the parliament. This is a major denial of democracy.

If you are wondering which animals may be impacted, the parliamentary debates give you some idea. Among others, they mention the lynx, the swan, and the beaver. In what way do these animals bother us?

The lynx certainly eats game which cannot be killed by hunters, but it is above all a powerful ally for foresters. By stopping the proliferation of deer that feed on new growth, it contributes greatly to the health of the forest. The swan, which sometimes defecates in fields close to the lake, causes minimal problems for farmers. The beaver can create dams and modify local areas of the riverbed. In building its territory, its presence is generally accompanied by an increase in the biodiversity of the area. Once again, in the context of the loss of biodiversity, it is at the very least curious to accept killing these animals, which contribute to the overall balance, for a few minor infractions. And I remind you that they can be killed even before they have caused a single problem.  [full article]

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