Bulgaria To Ban Bear Hunting AgainBulgaria News, Bear Hunting Magazine
The country of Bulgaria had its government approve a bill reinstating a ban on hunting brown bears that was lifted two years ago following the death of a resident. They are getting rid of the 3% minimum hunting quota for brown bears and imposing a ban on hunting them (their population exceeds 800), making their population one of the largest in Europe. Hunting brown bears had been prohibited in Bulgaria for over 20 years.
The ban is already in force in a number of other European countries. According to the existing EU legislation, countries are allowed to use derogations (this is a provision in an EU legislative measure which allows for all or part of the legal measure to be applied differently, or not at all) and authorizes the taking of specimens of those species subject to strict protection, provided that there is no satisfactory alternative and the derogation is not detrimental to the maintenance of the population.
The European Commission had earlier in the year requested information and clarifications from the Bulgarian authorities as regards the amendments of the Hunting and Game Species Conservation Act and the overall policy for the protection of the species. After assessing the reply, the Commission said that a possible breach of the provisions of Council Directive 92/43/EEC on the conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora (The Habitats Directive) exists.