Showing how easy it is for governments to ban hunting, the Polish Senate has crumbled under pressure from animal rights activists and has voted for the following laws:
- No under-18s to go hunting or join hunting trips (Poland has a constitutional right that allows parents to raise children in the way/faith/environment they deem best)
- All dogwork and falconry training to be banned (UNESCO recognises falconry as a ‘living human heritage’) – but untrained dogs and falcons to be allowed to work
- No fines for animal rights thugs sabotaging hunting
- Gun owners to undergo regular medical tests
- Land-owners to be allowed to exclude their properties from available for hunting (Poland previously allowed public hunting over private land)
- No shooting to take place within 150 metres of housing (previously it was 100 metres)
- Hunting clubs managers and members to be liable for wildlife damage within their area
Two protests in front of the parliament building in Warsaw (poster, pictured), have not moved the Polish government.
Viewer Rafal Konstanty says: “The last chance and hope to change anything will be with President rejecting this act when presented on 23 March – however it seems slim I guess. I wish I was wrong and will be able to send some good news.”
What will the president do? In his political career so far, Andrzej Duda has avoided being labelled pro animal rights or pro hunting. In January 2018, he agreed a law designed to combat the spread of African swine flu, which gave hunters increased rights. However, during the presidential election campaign in 2015, Duda openly criticised former president of Poland Bronisław Komorowski for going hunting. Duda wrote: “It is difficult for me to understand my competitor to the office of the President of the Republic, Mr Bronisław Komorowski, who made a hobby of and took pleasure in killing animals. His pictures are a sad sight for me, over the carcases of animals [he] killed”. Duda has voted against halal slaughter in parliament.
A publicity photo of Polish president Andrzej Duda appealing to animal lovers and hunters alike
The Polish parliament voting on the new laws