Some days ago, the associations represented at the bottom have discovered from local newspapers that the County of Biella is implementing a new "plan to contain wild boars", which once again doesn't involve those concerned with environment and land conservation, but rely exclusively on the words of those who have a direct, improper interest in the chance to increase the practice of their passion: hunters
The new intervention program is limited to the mere update of the guidelines that have lead to the failure of previous containment measures.
The President of the Province, lawyer Emanuele Ramella Pralungo, encourages only the increase in hunting actions, allowing, if necessary, the operation of teams of hunters from outside the province, believing that the extermination of the total ungulates is the only effective way to solve the problem; but he ignores the experiences undertaken in other areas, the failure results obtained with the same interventions and without taking into account the possible technical "alternatives" for containing fauna.
The ineffectiveness and devastating consequences of these methods are known; unfortunately hunters are always a good electoral constituency.
Even if it easy to ride the wave of popular fear, which depicts wild boars like dangerous monsters, we believe that public administration has the duty to inform and to be informed, so:
- it should know that hunting is the first and main reason of the proliferation of hoofed animals like wild boars
- it should communicate that hunting increases wild boars' fecundity and their trespassing into roads/residential areas
- it should inform that the animals commonly called "wild boars" are actually hybrids whose diffusion was promoted by hunters themselves
So: hunting is not a solution to a problem, but one of the main reasons.
At the same time, it is useless to use again the same policies which proved to be disastrous before.
In cases like this, often politics use the "state of emergency" as justification to avoid requests of explanations and to put aside several problems:
- Environmental: lead is one of the four most toxic metals and causes damage to the central nervous system; several studies have shown that the use of hunting ammunition containing lead has direct effects on human health.
- Animal welfare
- Safety: the number of victims of hunting is growing and in many cases they are not hunters, but common people who found themselves in the middle of hunting actions (according to the data provided by the National Association of hunt victims, 16 people were killed and 64 wounded, including three children, only in the period between September 2015 and January 2016)
A safety issue is clear also in Biellese territory, with several reports of wild boars who, injured, terrified and followed by hunters and dogs, run into private properties or streets.
Only a few months ago, during a DAT session, a very serious incident involved Il Rifugio degli Asinelli in Sala Biellese.
A wild boar, wounded and terrified, sought salvation rushing inside the center, where seven people with special needs, supervised by operators, were walking with therapist-donkeys.
The prey was followed by a crowd of hunting dogs, which also excited by blood, attacked the donkeys: one ran away, the other started kicking as a measure of defense.
Only the readiness of operators and a certain amount of luck has avoided severe damages - "only" a strong fear and stress for all the people and animals involved.
Months later and despite the requests, the head of Il Rifugio is still waiting for a clarifying meeting with the hunting squad leader.
The security problem is a responsibility that the Province can not ignore, even in the name of emergency: the risk is to impose solutions which are not actual solutions.
Wild boars control needs in-depth analyzes on nature and wildlife, discussions with associations and experts about environmental protection, land and wildlife.
Listening to hunters only is not looking for a true solution, but taking their field.
Biella, 30th January 2016
Legambiente Circolo Biellese Tavo Burat,
A.S.P.A Animali solo per amore O.N.L.U.S.,
Nata Libera O.N.L.U.S,
LIPU Lega Italiana Protezione Uccelli Biella e Vercelli,
Fondazione Il Rifugio Degli Asinelli O.N.L.U.S.,
LEAL Lega AntiVivisezionista Biella,
M.E.T.A. Movimento Etico Tutela Animali O.N.L.U.S.,
Associazione Istanza popolare Biella