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Legal culling of bears?

The summer break gives the time for making a little bit of clarity on an alleged sentence by the Italian Constitutional Court that would authorize the killing of bears and wolves. This is a misleading interpretation, since the Court does not enter into the level of protection of species.

The sentence does not change the criteria for authorizing a possible capture or killing, only clarifies a conflict of attribution of the decision between the Ministry of the Environment and the Provinces of Trento and Bolzano.

The press release of the Constitutional Court dated 16 July 2019 clearly states that "the laws (...) authorizing the President of the Province to adopt appropriate measures regarding a possible capture or even killing of bears and wolves are legit, provided that the conditions established by the European-derived legislation in the field of conservation of natural habitats subsist”.

Nothing changes regarding the criteria for authorizing any abatement; the decision-maker remains the Province, always subject to the mandatory opinion of Ispra. An illegal killing remains illegal as before and can be challenged not only by the Ministry, but by any Italian and European citizen.