Strict bear protection to be eased in Szeklerland

The brown bear might be removed temporarily from the list of strictly protected animals in Romania, which could be the solution needed for the bear crisis that the Szeklerland region currently faces. The proposal of the Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania (RMDSZ) was accepted by the Agriculture Committee of the Romanian Senate on Tuesday, creating the opportunity for the committee to finally regulate the number of beers in the area and restore balance to a region that has felt threatened for some time.

Bears present a great danger in Szeklerland (find more information here, here, or here). They regularly enter cities and villages, kill other animals, destroy everything they please, and even injure people. The inhabitants of Tusnádfürdő/Băile Tușnad see bears every day and, by now, have almost grown used to them and the issues they pose. Unfortunately, the same is true for people from other cities and villages in Szeklerland as well. But the reality is that their presence has made daily life for thousands in the area very difficult and even dangerous, problems that should not be ignored. Yet, despite such serious issues surrounding the bears, the Romanian Government has never seemed very keen on finding a solution to the crisis. That is, until now.

With the acceptance of the above proposal, the government finally seems ready to take action. “We have been saying for a long time that bear attacks have been a huge problem in the Szeklerland. They threaten people, their safety, and livestock. This is the first time that the commission has accepted a proposal to resolve the bear issue. Regardless of their party affiliation, lawmakers seem to have understood that there is a problem and a solution is needed,” Hungarian Senator, Barna Tánczos said.

According to the proposal, the brown bear would be removed, temporarily, from the list of strictly protected animals and could be hunted like other non-strictly protected species–wild boars, deer, etc. In this case, there will be no need for an intervention quota set by the ministry, and the bear population could be regulated per a shooting quota instead. Existing laws do regulate the hunting of non-strictly protected species, and these would also apply to brown bears. Therefore, after the acceptance of the proposal, the law will make it easier to regulate the number of bears but would protect the species as well.

Title image: Facebook/Székelyföld Online

Author: Orsi Sarány