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On Thursday, the Council of State confirmed the sentence of the Regional Court of Administrative Justice of Trento which prohibits the Province of Trento from killing bears involved in attacks on people without first having received the authorization of the Higher Institute for Environmental Protection and Research (ISPRA).
Last June the Provincial Council of Trento approved a resolution that gave the President of the Province the power to decide the killing – that is, the killing – of aggressive brown bears in cases deemed urgent, without consulting the national authorities as was done previously. . WWF Italy and the National Dog Defense League (LNDC) had appealed to the Regional Court against the resolution, obtaining a partial annulment, now confirmed by the Council of State after the appeal brought forward by the Province. According to WWF Italy and LNDC, the new guidelines for the management of bears introduced the possibility of killing them without first assessing their actual danger.
“The most drastic solution”, the judges of the State Council have established, “can be implemented if one of these cases occurs: bear repeatedly reported in the residential center, bear attacking to defend its young, bear attacking to defend the its prey, a bear that follows people, a bear that tries to enter structures, a bear that attacks without being provoked. But each time the situation must be examined in relation to both the environmental conditions and the causes that determined the aggression ». And following the rules of the Interregional action plan for the conservation of the brown bear in the central-eastern Alps (known briefly PACOBACE), which also involves the Veneto, Friuli Venezia Giulia and the Ministry of the Environment, and provides for more gradual interventions on bears involved in close encounters with people before reaching the eventual slaughter.
A debate has been going on for years on the presence and management of brown bears in Trentino, where the animals were reintroduced in the 1990s. The growth of the population, which took place in a small area and where many people live, has made encounters between bears and humans more frequent, which in some cases have created major problems. For this reason, the Trentino authorities have been trying for some time to have greater control over bears, also using methods harshly contested by associations for the defense of animals.
– Also listen: M49 – A story of bears and peoplea podcast of the Post on bears in Trentino