Please Save Romania's Brown Bears/Salvati Ursii Romaniei (varianta in romana in josul paginii)

  • by: Bianca Mititelu
  • recipient: Romania's Ministry for Environment and Climate Change

Thanks to its varied geographical and climate characteristics and slow pace of life, Romania is the perfect home to many protected and endangered species. More than half of Europe’s brown bear population can be found here, still living in its natural habitat, like it has been for hundreds of years. Most of the other half, can be found solely in bear sanctuaries. 

Despite being a species protected by EU laws, to which Romania, as a member should conform, there are still around 350 bear hunting licenses issued every year. There is strong indication that the number of actual kills is much higher. Due to outdated legislation and ineffective implementation of existing legislation, Romania is an easy target for hunting enthusiasts from all over Europe. There are numerous holiday and hunting websites that advertise Romania as a unique leisure hunting destination, unique because of its exceptional abundance and variety of game and because of the easiness people can get away with doing the wrong thing. In some cases, the adverts guarantee a kill for as little as €3,000. All this is of course, illegal!

There is an increasing demand in fur and bear meat, bear paw particularly, which makes poaching a tempting way to make money. Adult bears and cubs indiscriminately, are found in improvised traps, dying in terrible agony, on a daily basis. The perpetrators, if found, hardly get a fine, which of course, does not deter them from returning to their illegal activity, the next day.

We are urging Romania’s Minister for Environment and Climate Change to make the protection of the brown bear and other endangered native species, her top priority. We are asking for stricter laws and penalties on illegal hunting and game trade, an increase in the number of patrols in the affected areas and the initiation of a nationwide campaign to raise public awareness and public vigilance.

Romania may have many problems, but the slow pace of change has made possible for wildlife to prosper in pristine, unspoiled habitats. If this unparalleled preservation has been unintentional or accidental until now, it will require hard work, careful planning and common effort to continue. Romania might be the last piece of real, unspoiled wilderness in Europe, please help keep it this way, for all of us!

Salvati Ursii Romaniei

Romania e foarte norocoasa sa mai aiba inca o viata salbatica atat de abundenta si variata, una pe care multe dintre cele mai dezvoltate tari si-ar dori sa o poata aduce inapoi. Nu avem autostrazi si multe alte lucruri, dar avem paduri, munti si o delta care sunt inca pline de viata si galagie. Asta e de neinlocuit si odata pierdut, e aproape imposibil de recapatat. Mai mult de jumatate din intreaga populatie de urs brun din Europa inca traieste in mediu natural in Romania, majoritatea din cealalta jumatate traieste doar in rezervatii.

Ursul brun e o specie protejata de legile UE, pe care Romania, ca membra, ar trebui sa le respecte. Cu toate acestea, Ministerul Mediului inca elibereaza in jur de 350 de licente de vanatoare de urs brun. Sunt indicatii ca numarul de exemplare ucise e de fapt mult mai mare. Numeroase website-uri si companii straine vand vacante de vanatore in Romania, multe dintre ele garantand cel putin un trofeu, la preturi de nimic. Intermedieri de acest fel sunt ilegale. In acelasi timp, cerinta in crestere de blana si carne de urs, in special laba de urs, majoritara straina, fac braconajul o solutie tentanta de a face bani. Zilnic, zeci de exemplare, adulti si pui fara discriminare, sunt prinse in capcane improvizate si mor in chinuri groaznice. Vinovatii, in cazuri rare prinsi, sunt amendati cu sume de nimic, ceea ce nu-i descurajeaza sa se intoarca la indeletnicirea ilegala a doua zi. Legislatia depasita si implementarea ineficienta a legislatiei existente, fac din Romania o tinta usoara pentru strainii cu bani care vor sa vaneze specii greu de gasit in alta parte, dar care inca se gasesc in abundenta si varietate exceptionala, in Romania.

Rugam pe doamna ministru, Rovana Plumb sa reviziteze legile actuale cu privire la vanatoare si protectia speciilor in pericol de disparitie, din Romania. Avem nevoie de legi si pedepse mult mai aspre si de programe de implementare a acestora mult mai eficiente. In acelasi timp o campanie de instiintare a publicului, care sa faca cunoscuta situatia locala si internationala si sa incurajeze ajutorul si vigilenta publicului, ar fi extrem de utila. Vanatoarea e un ‘sport’ care nu-si are locul intr-o societate civilizata, au trecut mii de ani de cand omul era fortat sa vaneze ca sa se imbrace si sa manance, e ridicol ca aceasta indeletnicire barbarica a supravietuit pana acum. In acest moment, cand tot mai multe specii sunt declarate in pericol de disparitie, e evident ca suntem pe un drum in care omul o sa ramana singurul animal supravietuitor pe Pamant. Viata salbatica e inca una din multele comori pe care Romania inca nu stie cum si nu poate sa le exploateze eficient, la momentul acesta. In loc de vanatoare, excursii de observare a vietii salbatice ar fi mult mai profitabile si ar sprijini durabilatatea, sa nu mentionam ca e o varianta mult mai umana. Dar pana cand asta va fi posibil, trebuie sa-i fortam pe politicieni sa faca ceva in legatura cu o problema, care mai devreme sau mai tarziu, ne va afecta pe toti. Cu cat suntem mai multi, cu atat vom fi mai greu de ignorat! Va rog adaugati-va semnatura si distribuiti mai departe. Toate detaliile personale sunt cerute doar pentru a dovedi autenticitatea semnaturii, nu vor fi dezvaluite nicaieri si nimanui si nu o sa primiti email-uri de la acest website, decat daca doriti! Multumesc!

Dear Minister for Environment and Climate Change 

I am writing to urge you to make the protection of Romania’s wildlife your top priority. Romania is so lucky to still have such an amazing variety of wildlife and unspoiled habitats, but without careful and persistent support and protection, it could all be easily gone. 

More than half of Europe’s brown bear population is found in Romania, most of the other half can be found solely in bear sanctuaries. Despite it being a protected species, there is an increasing demand for bear meat, particularly bear paw, bear fur and leisure hunting. Romania has become the target of many hunting enthusiasts across Europe, irresponsible and careless of the protected status of the species they seek to kill for entertainment. Many European hunting websites advertise Romania as a unique hunting destination, encouraging and selling hunting holidays here. This is illegal! I believe that lenient laws and the failure to implement existing laws efficiently, make Romania an easy target. Also the lack of public awareness regarding protected species, illegal hunting and game trade is another major concern. 

Please review and tighten the laws protecting endangered species and increase sanctions on illegal hunting and game trade. Please increase the number of patrols in the affected areas, and initiate a nationwide campaign to raise public awareness and public vigilance. Hunting is a barbaric, sadistic ‘sport’ and it is time to change it for more sustainable, humane practices, like wildlife watching for example. 


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