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Latvia’s State Forest Service (VMD) will not issue permits to hunt lynx this hunting season. The reason is because there are plans to add the Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx) to the list of especially protected species.
The service explains VMD is an institution in charge of supervising hunting activities. This institution has the authority to determine the permissible amount of hunting of animals of limited game species. Hunting rules state lynx are limited game species and VMD needs to calculate the permissible hunting amount every season.
It is also planned to add amendments to the Cabinet of Ministers rules on the list of especially protected species and limited use of especially protected species
The goal is to add the Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx) to the list of especially protected animal species.
This means VMD will no longer issue a hunting permit for lynx this season.
The decision was made after a conversation with the Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Environment Protection and Regional Development and Nature Protection Office, which is in charge of supervising especially protected species.
In May the Saeima decided to hand the initiative on prohibiting lynx hunting to the Economic, Agricultural, Environmental and Regional Policy Committee for further discussions.
Representative of the initiative Jānis Vinters previously said there is no logical, scientific or biological justification for hunting lynx. He believes VMD is wrong about its approach counting these animals. As a result of this, Vinters believes VMD permits the hunting of up to 40% of population of lynx in the country.
Vinters estimates that in 2019 a total of 34% of all lynx hunted in Europe were hunted in Latvia. Of all lynx remaining in Europe less than 10% reside in Latvia.
The author of the initiative mentioned that Latvia also permits hunters to hunt lynx mothers and lynx kittens, which is strictly prohibited by EU directives.
Meanwhile, Chairman of Latvian Hunters Association Jānis Baumanis said the authors of the initiative doubt the data provided by VMD, adding that this data is cited in internationally recognised scientific magazines. «Data is put into question, but they present nothing to counter it. They only claim the data is falsified because this data is not convenient for the authors of the initiative,» said Baumanis.
He said hunting so far was a service hunters provided based only on the belief that it is permitted to hunt troublesome animals. This means hunting can be considered pest control, which means hunters should be paid to do it, said Baumanis.