Hunting and national parks

Updated:04/01/2021 01: 40h

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Many years ago and on the occasion of an international congress for the conservation of aquatic birds, the Spanish delegates discussed, among other problems, that of the conservation of the malvasia, of which at that time – in the eighties of the last century – they had to no more than 50 specimens were left in our country and it had already disappeared from Doñana-Marismas. We state that for the recovery of the species in this well-known national park, certain measures would have to be implemented, but that the corresponding Administration did not have the budget for it.

Then, a certain Mr. Pickering, a North American delegate, I think I recall, asked why that Administration did not sell the hunting rights of fallow deer, deer, wild boar, geese, etc., and with the income obtained from this, the actions could be financed necessary conservation. Logic and pragmatism in its purest form! I got out of that quagmire by limiting myself to saying that in Spain it was not possible … And what I did not say was that the income from the national park had to go to a global account of the Ministry of Finance, from where it was then impossible to extract them to dedicate them to conservation, and that even then, selling the game from a national park was not considered politically correct by our fathers of the country.

The Malvasia was recovered in other wetlands thanks to private initiative, but it did not return to Doñana precisely because of that, because the necessary measures were never implemented. Since the eighties, the big game in the state and autonomous properties of the park have been controlled, although insufficiently, by environmental agents and the meat has been destroyed in specialized centers for this, work that is not exactly cheap. I remember meeting one of these agents a few years ago and he told me that he had not eliminated cattle for months because the Park Administration did not have a budget for the bullets …

All this is relevant because since last December it will not be possible to hunt on privately owned farms included in national parks. In Doñana this prohibition was already carried out some time ago and this led to having to compensate the owners for limitation of the exercise of ownership.

In parks like Cabañeros or Monfragüe, where private property is much more present, political correctness is going to cost us taxpayers one kidney and part of the other. It is a truly outrageous nonsense situation. Because the exercise of hunting guarantees the conservation of the environment at zero cost for the taxpayer and from now on this free contribution will be lost and in addition there will be compensation to the owners for depriving them of their right to hunt: double waste !

And all this being witnesses, as we are, of an endless succession of political improprieties and of all kinds perpetrated daily by our leaders and parliamentary representatives.

Javier Hidalgo

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