Nature management minister Henk Bleker is poised to allow open hunting on geese, Trouw reports on Thursday, quoting a leaked version of new legislation.
The paper says the new nature management law will allow hunters to shoot Greylag, Canada and Greater white-fronted geese and a species of duck known as Widgeon during the autumn and winter.
The paper says the new law would allow hunting for pleasure between mid-August and mid-February and that it would be up to local authorities to decide which birds can be killed.
The paper says this is notable because the geese cause most damage during breeding season, which tips the emphasis of the legislation towards hunting for pleasure.
Half of Europe’s widgeon and 70% of the white-fronted geese winter in the Netherlands. Under EU legislation, these birds are protected and can only be shot if there is scientific evidence to justify it.
Earlier this year, seven organisations, including bird protection group Vogelbescherming, reached agreement on a plan to reduce the geese population by 100,000 over five years.
They argue the cull is necessary to reduce damage to economic and environmental damage and had hoped the government would adopt their proposals.
Ironically, the hunters lobby group dropped its support for that plan, saying it would be bad for the image of hunting.
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