STA, 12 August 2022 - An environmental organisation has lost a legal battle against the Environment Ministry's decision to allow the culling of 222 brown bears in Slovenia this year, by the end of September.
In a decision taken on 16 June, the Administrative Court ruled the lawsuit by Alpe Adria Green was unwarranted. The judgement is non-appealable.
The decision to allow the culling of 222 brown bears by 30 September was issued by the Environment Ministry in February but was stayed by the court in March pending its decision on Alpe Adria Green's appeal.
The organisation argues that every such culling permit is illegal and that under Slovenian and international legislation it is permitted to cull only those bears that have been proven to have attacked humans or to be jeopardising people or property.
The court based its decision on the hearing of two Ljubljana Faculty of Biotechnology professors, who were both involved in the expert opinion that was one of the basis for the culling permit.
With the culling the country's brown bear population would be reduced from an estimated 1,000 to around 800 animals.
The court found the planned culling would not "harm the maintenance of a favourable conservation status of the bear population in Slovenia".
It rejected the argument that the interest of the protection of human health could be achieved by individual culls and said the planned culling was warranted duo to increased number of human-bear conflicts as a result of the density of the bear population.
Alpe Adria Green and an animal rights society AniMa disagree with such a position, noting that the court failed to consider data on hunting tourism and public promotion of culinary offerings of bear meat.