Poland to be first EU country to ban most hunting

Rick Cox

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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.
Thanks for the info.
 

Tom Hawk

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If it is only proposed that’s good. Hopefully, it will be voted out
 

Opposite Pole

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Fingers crossed they’ll put it in the junk bin where it belongs. There are so many errors in this paper that it needs to be rewritten just to fix it up. They used wrong terms giving some things different legal meaning to the intended one.
 

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I'd leave the country if I had to wait until they are 18. :eek:
 

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Opposite Pole: Thank you for the post. I learned a lot. Interesting system and certainly has a lot of benefits for all. I hope the laws are not passed, especially the one banning kids from hunting.
 

Tally-Ho Hunting Safaris

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Poland was one of the options I was looking at for roebuck and boar. Romania may be the ticket now.
don't be so hasty
Poland is one of the best hunting destinations in Europe!!! Top Roe and red stag

regards
 

CEO

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don't be so hasty
Poland is one of the best hunting destinations in Europe!!! Top Roe and red stag

regards
The consultant I've been speaking with said the Roe hunting there is outstanding. A friend recently came back from living in Poland for a year and loved it.
 

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The consultant I've been speaking with said the Roe hunting there is outstanding. A friend recently came back from living in Poland for a year and loved it.
Which part of Poland are you thinking of visiting?
 

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the ruling party PIS is extremely conservative/nationalistic.
I always thought danger for hunting came from the left.
You never stop learning.
 

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the ruling party PIS is extremely conservative/nationalistic.
I always thought danger for hunting came from the left.
You never stop learning.
They are left though! Some call them right wing because they have close association with Catholic Church but they are socialists! They have increased government control on businesses and increased social spending, that’s left wing. Their electorate are mostly elderly and less educated and preaching to these ears is as far as their conservatism goes. PIS is a left wing nationalistic party. Sort of like NSDAP though far less extreme.
 

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Which part of Poland are you thinking of visiting?
Honestly I'm not certain. Researching hunts online is one of my favorite past times, but Europe seems a little more tight lipped on the details from my experience. I came upon one of the consultants when looking around and got some info from them. If you have any suggestions my ears are open.
 

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Honestly I'm not certain. Researching hunts online is one of my favorite past times, but Europe seems a little more tight lipped on the details from my experience. I came upon one of the consultants when looking around and got some info from them. If you have any suggestions my ears are open.
Honestly I’ve no idea what’s offered here to visiting hunters, I can ask around though. My local hunting lease is not particularly interesting, animals are there and carry decent heads but it’s a very urbanised and not particularly exciting area, to me any way. Mind you I’m in central Poland, just outside of Warsaw in some of the most densely populated part of the country. We do have two more leases in different areas one consists mostly of farmlands and the other is mostly forests. There are some quality Roe populations living on fields and farmlands in this part of Europe.

When were you planning your visit? What animals would you like to hunt? Roe buck season starts on 11th of May and runs till end of September, Red deer starts on 21st of August till end of Feb.

Boar is more complicated. There is an open season all year round but most people refuse to hunt large females in winter to early spring as they are feeding their offspring and killing them is a death through starvation sentence on the young. Due to high numbers of Boar the government is however encouraging shooting of females all year round in order to reduce the population. There’s even a financial reward for killing pregnant or feeding females! But so far no takers... However some areas of the country are now affected by African Swine Flu. If visiting Poland with Boar hunting in mind this is something to consider, ASF has 100% mortality rate. Only some areas are affected and the nature of the diseases is such that it is either present and major issue or is not there at all. Where present two things occur, death due to disease and drastic population reductions through shooting as ordered by regional veterinarian’s office. Now, if you get into such an area shortly after reduction orders are gazetted then it should be reasonably cheap to hunt a lot of Boar as the lease holder is legally obliged to drastically reduce the population (to stop the disease from spreading). Several months ago my area has been affected (with disease spread by human factor not natural wildlife ways) and we have since tripled our annual take as per vet’s orders. The result is such that my freezer is full and the amount of animals taken was sickening. Few months have passed and places where I could go to shoot a pig almost like going shopping hold no animals, at all... For those interested in it, the virus affects swines only but all meat is tested and we can only keep ones with negative reading, the rest goes into furnace. This is done in order to stop the virus from spreading. It can survive in processed and cured meats for several months and this is the most likely way it has spread to our area, it’s enough for someone to chuck a leftover of ham sandwich and for a boar to eat it. It will get infected and die and other pigs will feed on the carcass or worms living in it and you have an epidemic.

Curiously in reference to the original topic of this post, the same government that is now doing level best to f..k hunters was very keen to establish good cooperation with us in order to fight the disease and was quite thankful for our cooperation. This is off course because it affects businesses (total pig quarantine is established on affected areas), funny how quickly they can forget they need us.

Anyway if you’d like some more info on hunting in Poland let me know, I’ll tell you what I know and can try to find out some details about outfitters and areas you have in mind and if you’d like to do some sightseeing I can offer some recommendations as well.

Witold from the forum had posted some lovely photographs from his hunting area, he’s in NW Poland in I’m not mistaken.

https://www.africahunting.com/threads/poland-hunting-pictures.34231/
 

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Poland has long been a strong hunting country with a proud hunting heritage. The new law as I read it seriously erodes that heritage, but is very far from the "hunting ban" it is being touted as. Poland is also a major agricultural country where crop damage from wildlife, especially their prolific wild boars, is a serious issue. My sympathy goes out to our hunting brethren in Poland...and we shall see how reduction in hunting plays out against proper wildlife management. CB
 

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I just saw a news broadcast that said the current President commented negatively on the last Presidents hunting activities.
I'd be a little concerned about him being the last resort to stop this new legislation.

Sounds like there is going to have to be a legal challenge.
 

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Majority of this forum members are American citizens, and European gun laws would be unthinkable to many. However, what I have read in first posts, is not uncommon.

Since the EU is economic union with free border crossings, and free transit of goods and labour, no import taxes and free movement of people, there is a need that many national laws are set to some minimum required standard.

For gun laws, for example, since there is no border police control, it should not be possible that a legal gun owner who, for example, has a legal automatic fire arm, has an easy possibility to cross the border and get to another country where possession of automatic firearm is not legally possible. So there is a need to unify the gun laws across the Europe for member states. The same stands for many other regulations, environmental regulation, industry, etc

The European commission will then propose the gun law directives to European parliament, and if the bill is passed, then the member states will have to comply within some legal deadline.

SO, medical check for gun owners is recently installed through EU gun law directive, and local member states will have to comply.
Poland is obviously the one implementing this now.

European directive will give minimum standards only, and any member state can have more rigorous laws if they wished so.

I have feeling that UK had the strongest anti-gun voice in EU until the Brexit. Not any more.
Now the strongest anti gun voice stands with Dutch, that is my impression.

So, medical check in Poland, is not surprise as it may seem at first glimpse to other non-Europeans forum members. It becomes EU standard
Further, more and more semi-automatc firearms are getting under close scrutiny, magazine capacity issues, etc...

America is a model wished for by many legal gun owners in EU, but the backlash is that many of gun related crimes in the states are frequently quoted here as a bad example of more liberal laws across the pond, and related abuse. Those are examples the EU wish to prevent, in latest legislation.

I am trying to explain the legal and social environment behind this issue in EU, so not defending any sides. This is how it is.

PS: Just google EU fire arm directive...
 

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The current changes are not due to the EU directive. They are due to ecoterrorists' pressure. In order to apply for a firearm permit in Poland everybody needs to go through medical, psychological and psychiatric evaluation. Problem is they now want to change that to having this assessment done every 5 years. It's a major pain in the ass, you loose half a day so gotta take a day of work and it's not cheap either. There are very few clinics that perform these tests and to them periodic testing is a great business, it's worth 10s of millions every five years for the industry. Curiously they only want to introduce testing for hunting firearm licences. Collectors and sport shooters are exempt. It's dumb. You can have the very same rifle registered under sport, collectors or hunting permit. Only in one instance it's considered that it's so dangerous that you need periodic evaluations. Obviously there is no logic to it. And guess how many legal firearm owners committed gun related crimes due to failing mental or physical health in the past 10 years? Nice and round number - 0. So what problem is that law fixing? BTW, according to police statistics legal firearm owners commit statistically insignificant amount of crimes. That is according to the cops, numbers are so low that they do not even make the statistic.
 

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Unfortunately, in my country is the same... medical every 5 years. It is pain in the neck! In my country it applies to all: target shooters, hunters, collectors, and those who have self defence firearm. It is under EU directive, but as I said, every member state has option to apply directive more rigorous then original directive. Medical is the new thing, it was not required in previous directive.
 

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President signed the legislation.
 
 

 

 

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