Bulgaria Imposes Full Ban on Bear Hunting

December 11, 2012, Tuesday // 06:15

The Bulgarian Parliament voted Tuesday legislative amendments banning all hunting of bears on the territory of Bulgaria.

With the move, Parliament scrapped an earlier more liberal regime that allowed hunters' unions to kill between 3 and 8% of the bear population.

The brown bear is a protected species in Bulgaria, is popular game among some hunters.

Although a reclusive and largely non-predatory animal, it has sometimes been known to attack and kill humans and livestock.

Safety for humans were the main concern that opposition Bulgarian Socialist Party and Ataka MPs voiced against the amendments.

According to the new regulation, bears in Bulgaria could be killed only in extraordinary situations and after permission granted by the Minister of Agriculture.

The legislative amendment comes after pressure from the European Commission, who had started a procedure against Bulgaria relating to the level of protection of bears.

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