Thanks for the info.First of all, there is no hunting ban being discussed or proposed as a law. There are however some negative and dumb changes proposed to the current legislations.
In order to clarify it I must start with a quick breakdown of hunting law in Poland. All wild animals are considered state property. The country is divided into hunting lease areas of no less than 3000ha each. These comprise of state owned forests, wildland, water bodies as well as privately owned farmland but exclude national parks. There is no hunting allowed in national parks in Poland though there are population reduction shootings organised there but this is governed by regulations other than hunting law. There is a slight change in the wording proposed regarding national parks law the might sound like a ban but it is nothing new and does not change anything.
Hunting in Poland is heavy regulated by various national laws as well as by Polish Hunting Organization (Polski Związek Łowiecki or PZŁ). First hunting legislations appeared around 10th century and first laws aiming at protecting game from overhunting date back to 15th century. All polish hunters must complete training and pass exams set up by PZŁ and become its members. Falling under the main body of PZŁ are local hunting clubs (Koło Łowieckie). Koło Łowieckie is the actual leaseholder of the land for purposes of game management and is a not for profit type of organisation. Hunting is done on both state and privately held land under the leaseholder’s management. If you own a farm and there are wild animals on it you are not allowed to hunt them unless you are a hunter (passed exams, joined PZŁ) and are permitted to do so by the leaseholder. However, hunters can and do hunt on privately held farms without seeking owners permission (in the fields obviously not in someone’s barn). The club’s game keeper issues each hunter a quota “odstrzał” for particular number of animals of certain species and sex. All game animals in Poland are wild, there is no such thing as high fence hunting, animals move freely between forests, fields and farms. It is illegal to restrict wild animals’ movement except fencing off your own property for the purpose of keeping them off it. When game damages crops or forestry resources it is the leaseholder’s responsibility to pay compensation for the damages. The funding comes from sales of meat to commercial distributors, as well as to the hunters themselves and also from organising commercial hunts for visitors. So when a local hunter such as myself shoots an animal the carcass belongs to the Koło Łowieckie (the leaseholder). The hunter than decides if he wishes to keep it or bring it to the meat distributor. If he delivers it to the distributor the purchaser pays the club, if he keeps it, the hunter himself pays the club.
Now onto the proposed changes.
Poland has a high population density which is also fairly evenly spread, particularly in central Poland. As such shooting close to towns and villages is the norm and there is a minimum distance of 100m from the nearest building. The proposed changes are to increase the distance to 150m though the antis were pushing for 500m which would drastically reduce the area where hunting is possible.
Second proposed change is to make it illegal for minors to participate in hunting. It is ridiculous, no other words can describe it. Hopefully it won’t go through, there are some constitutional issues with that as anyone is guaranteed the right to bring up their children according to their believes.
Third proposed change is to allow land owners to have the ability of excluding their property from the hunting lease. This is already possible but would be simplified. However, if excluded from hunting leases any damage to the crops would no longer be covered by the hunting club and the land owner is not allowed to harass or kill game in any way – this would qualify as poaching. So in practise such exclusions will be few and far apart as any land owner realises that if wildlife cannot be disturbed in a particular area they will quickly learn to stay just there. The exclusions that will happen will mostly be some greenies who bought rural land but do not live of it. This is very unlikely to be of any actual significance on the large scale of things but may affect some clubs to some extent.
Fourth big proposed change is for the government to have some say in Polish Hunting Organisation’s management. At the moment there is no political control over it and it burns politicians cause they love to stick their sticky hands anywhere they can – apparently they can never get enough opportunities to f..k things up.
That’s that, no hunting ban of any sort.
Disclosure: I do not organise or profit from organising hunting in any way, am not an outfitter or anything of the sort. I am just a regular hunter.