Severed deer head 370.
(photo credit: Courtesy Nature and Parks Authority)
The Ministerial Committee for Legislation on Sunday unanimously approved
Environmental Protection Minister Amir Peretz’s proposal to revive a bill that
would prohibit sport hunting in Israel and increase the protection of animals in
“Wildlife will no longer be abandoned to sporting
games,” Peretz said. “Today a significant step toward protecting animals has
The Environmental Protection Ministry first began promoting
a bill on the subject a few years ago, but the matter came to a stalemate in the
Knesset after passing through its first reading there in 2011.
therefore asked that the ministerial committee apply the law of continuity to
bring the bill back to the Knesset for its second and third
Currently, the government allows sport hunting to occur
annually from the beginning of September through the end of January for many
animals, such as ducks, coots and wild doves, according to the ministry.
Partaking in the sport are about 2,400 registered hunters in
“Hunting for sport is contrary to the basic humane concept in
which we are committed to protecting wildlife and prohibiting inhumane acts and
sights, as we have seen recently,” Peretz said. “We must promote the bill and
see that sport hunting disappears from the world.”
Parallel to advancing
the anti-sport hunting bill, Peretz called upon the police to investigate recent
violent activities that have taken place against wild animals.
Tuesday, the Israel Nature and Parks Authority reported finding four severed
heads of deer as well as a head of a porcupine mounted on a fence alongside a
main highway in the North.
Peretz has called such crimes “shocking to
anyone who sees himself as a moral being” and stressed that he will not accept
According to the Society for the Protection of Nature in
Israel, sport hunting is “one of the most significant threats to biodiversity in
the world,” and the organization welcomed the committee’s decision. Ahead of the
Sunday session, SPNI executives had sent an opinion on Saturday to the members
of the Ministerial Committee on Legislation, encouraging them to approve the
“The shocking violence proves more and more the
urgency of promoting the bill, which strengthens the ability of the Nature and
Parks Authority to preserve and protect wildlife by strengthening enforcement
mechanisms and implementing additional measures to maintain its unique ecosystem
in our country,” the SPNI opinion said. “Accordingly, SPNI sees the decision of
the Ministerial Committee on Legislation as a first important step in the quick
approval of the law, which is necessary to protecting wildlife in Israel.”
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