Romanian Environment Minister Tanczos Barna announced on Thursday that a Romanian court has pronounced a first sentence against the Romanian state, which should pay 15,000 euros in compensation to a person who was attacked by the bear and demanded damages in court.
The court clearly stated that the entity responsible for that attack is the entity that protected that animal, namely the Romanian state.
“We have the first sentence against the Romanian state, of 15,000 euros, given by a court in Romania, by which a person attacked by the bear sued the Romanian state and demanded compensation. And the court clearly said that the entity responsible for that attack is the entity that protected that animal and which is, in quotation marks, the “owner of the bear”, which is strange, but the owner of the strictly protected species is the Romanian state”, said the Minister of Environment during a conference on the topic of the recently adopted Emergency Ordinance on intervention in the case of bears descending on localities.
People who prevent by any means the immediate intervention of the authorities in the case of bears landed in the built-up areas of the localities can be sanctioned with a fine between 7,000 and 10,000 lei, if the act does not constitute a crime, according to the Emergency Ordinance adopted by the Government. the Ministry of Environment.
The mayor or deputy mayor are the ones who lead the intervention teams and, depending on the risk, they also decide on the solutions: expulsion, tranquilizing and relocation or extraction by euthanasia or shooting of bears.
WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature) retorted that the Emergency Ordinance adopted yesterday by the Government allowing the authorities’ intervention in case of bear attacks “raises many problems related both to its substantiation and especially to the decision-making chain and the risks that urban interventions can raise for the local population”.
“The decision of the emergency intervention must be taken by a representative of the Ministry of Environment in the territory, such as the Forest Guard or the Environmental Guard, and not by the mayor or deputy mayor, as provided in the text of the Emergency Ordinance,” the NGO argues.
WWF also notes that, considering that the bear is a strictly protected species, maximum objectivity is needed in making the intervention decision, but also thorough knowledge about the behavior of bears.
“In all countries facing similar problems, from Slovakia to Canada, these decisions are taken by people with expertise in the field. It is important to note that shooting wild animals in urban areas can be dangerous and is not practiced in any other country. The solution agreed all over the world involves tranquilizing the locality and euthanizing it as much as possible outside it. In this context, we note that most of the statements from mayors so far have been in favor of lethal intervention, without considering alternative measures.”