There is no longer any room for doubt: the hunting activity is paralyzed in a precautionary way in Castilla y León. Last week the Superior Court of this community (TSJCYL) it suspended the autonomic decree that regulates the species that can be hunted, which implied the paralyzation of the hunting activity. But there remained doubts, because the annual hunting order was still in force, specifying the species and periods of closure. Yesterday the judges also provisionally suspended that order. The order is not final and an appeal for reconsideration may be filed within a period of five days following its notification. The PACMA animalist party, which denounced both regulations, maintains that with this last decision "any hunting activity in all Castile and Leon is paralyzed".
The Royal Spanish Hunting Federation (RFEC) assured days ago that to continue in force this order, you could continue hunting. Both judicial decisions are based on the fact that the Junta de Castilla y León has not provided "objective and updated scientific studies" that justify that the species can be captured without threatening their survival. Without these data, damages can be inflicted on species that may be "irreparable or difficult to repair," says the court order.
The hunters are now asking themselves when they will be able to return to the field. José Antonio Pérez is one of those affected by the suspension. Veterinarian, hunter and specialist in the conservation of game birds, believes that both the actions of the Board and of justice have not been correct. On the one hand, he thinks that the Administration could have reviewed the entire standard in its day. On the other, he does not understand how it is possible that the magistrate of the court has thrown down the decree and the report commissioned by the Board. The Hunting Federation of Castilla y León defends and criticizes the court. "This room has been systematically hitting the interests of hunters, farmers and ranchers for many years," he said in a statement after the ruling was published.
With the controversy in full swing, the regional executive has proposed amending the autonomous hunting law of 1996 and include in it the list of species that can be hunted and not in a decree that can be appealed. Because, adds the Junta de Castilla y León, the economy of the community will be affected, given that the hunting has an economic impact of 506 million euros and employs 8,000 people. "Hunters and politicians know they have lost. That is why they are so angry and try to trample the judicial power by shielding the hunt at a political level, "said Silvia Barquero, president of PACMA.
The Board, meanwhile, has not yet made a decision on how to act and has requested a report from its legal services to evaluate the effects of the order that ordered the provisional suspension of the decree regulating the hunt last week. "It is hasty to give an opinion that gathers all the possible assumptions", has declared to EL PAÍS a spokesman of the Ministry of the Environment. In addition, it has stressed that "it is a sensitive issue", so that it will "formally express" to its staff the measures to be adopted "when the necessary elements are available to do so safely".
It is not the first occasion in which the Castilian-Leonese Executive, led by the PP, has faced a similar problem. Since 2004, Ecologists in Action has denounced hunting regulations on several occasions, and has managed to get the courts to approve them by canceling closure orders (they are drawn up annually), as well as several articles of the hunting decree, which was replaced by the that has now denounced PACMA.
To prepare this decree, the Board presented a report that it commissioned from the private company Consultora de Recursos Naturales SL. Both the court and the ecologists claim that said document, led by the specialist Mario Sáez de Buruaga, is subjective and inaccurate. The professional association of environmental agents of the community has described the performance of the Board as "sloppy" and has criticized that it commissioned the study to an external company and not to the staff of autonomous technicians.
Luis Oviedo, lawyer of Ecologists in Action, has not been surprised by the decision of the court, because "the Board always makes the same mistakes and does not apply the European directive in terms of determining how are the species that are allowed to capture." The order states that it is necessary that hunting be practiced under conditions that ensure the good state of conservation of the species, with the aim that this activity can continue to be "an element of economic and social development".
While walking with her bitches Lida, Nabia Y Vesta for a preserve lions, Perez reconsiders on the social stereotype of the hunter. "A hunter loves the field, the last thing he wants is for an animal to die out or be in danger. Although we are more than a million and there is everything. Poachers or those who like to be recorded while they mistreat are not hunters. That is despicable and you have to go for them, "he says. Because they are the first interested: "Many of us make our own censuses in the reserves so that the populations do not decrease," he says.
"Now the alarm for the suspension has broken out, but we have been warning of the problem for years," explains Ignacio Martínez, member of the board of directors of the Association for the Conservation and Study of the Iberian Wolf (ASCEL). His denunciations before the TSJCYL managed to annul the plan of wolf management of the community and thus stop the hunting of 143 specimens of the canid last September. Conservationists claimed that the population trend of the wolf was not evaluated nor were their breeding or reproduction periods respected.
Martínez, environmental and territorial advisor, affirms that the hunting law should be subsidiary to the environmental protection law. He also believes that "the myth" that the abolition of hunting can unbalance the animal population still persists. Pérez does not think the same. "It's a utopian idea. Today we live in a humanized world that, in itself, conditions the population of animals. Climate change, pollution and the abandonment of the forests is what has caused the boar specimens to grow and break the balance ", explains the veterinarian.