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DRAFT LEGISLATION - BILL S628 - NON-APPROVAL URGED
Dear Prime Minister Berlusconi,
Dear Parliamentary Party Groups,
As European citizens concerned about the conservation of wild birds and animals, we were extremely disturbed to learn of the contents of the Italian government's draft bill S628 and similar members' bills aiming to modify Law 157/92 on hunting and give Regions powers to extend the number of species which may legally be hunted, in particular of small migratory birds.
We consider it disgraceful that federalism should be used as a pretext to remove the safeguards for wild species that are currently protected, given that in other States with long-established federal systems (such as the United States, Canada, Australia and Germany) wildlife management of migratory species continues to be regulated in a national or federal legislative framework, partly in implementation of international treaties with neighbouring countries.
It is unthinkable that the populations of wild species, which constitute an international heritage and as such are safeguarded at Community level, should be made subject to legislative anarchy at regional level, with at least 20 regulatory systems in Italy alone.
To our certain knowledge the various Regional administrations in Italy have in the past attempted, even in the absence of appropriate legal powers (and in contempt of Sentences 168/99 and 135/2001 of the Constitutional Court) to extend the list of species which may legally be hunted, while failing to perform the duties laid down by Art. 9 of Directive EEC 409/79 which as conditions for derogated "capture or killing" requires that these be "strictly supervised", that there be "no other satisfactory solution" and also insists on "small numbers". These conditions are certainly not met by the indiscriminate and general tolerance of hunting for new wild species, with no evaluation of alternative methods of safeguarding crops in specific local situations, and without even indicating a limited list of species which may be subject to derogation. Thus approval of DDL 628 or other similar draft legislation would be nothing other than an extension, without any national coordination (as is now provided for by D.Lsg. 143/97), of species which may legally be hunted, and as such would be entirely contrary in its effects to the intentions of the Community Directive on conservation of wild birds.
We hereby plead with you to ensure that DDL 628 and any other similar bills currently before parliament not be approved, and that any control of species considered pests for agriculture continue to be regulated by Art. 19 of Law 157/92 (supervisory personnel, preventive evaluation of alternative ecological methods, precision intervention and not generalised hunting of new species by anyone in possession of a hunting licence).
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