Why is hunting necessary?
This is a great question that is often difficult to answer due to the enormous noise generated by certain animal sectors, especially anonymous speakers who use social networks to stain the truth of certain activities or sectors.
But the reality is far from perception, 87% of the Spanish territory is today declared as hunting use. It is not by chance that the best preserved national parks in Spain are managed by hunters. Nor that the recovery of the Iberian lynx is especially fruitful in private hunting estates. Nor that the control of animal diseases is not viable without the support of hunters. Nor is it that the best management of the territory is the one that is carried out in a coordinated manner between the different uses, including agricultural, hunting, forestry and tourism.
Let's go into more detail…why is hunting necessary?
1. Prevents crop damage and reduces accidents
According to the IV Report of the Ponle Freno Road Safety Studies Center on vehicle collisions with animals, it ensures that traffic accidents caused by wild boars have increased by 47% in the last two years. A figure that alerts all hunters and especially all people who every day have to travel and travel on roads with free access to these species. In order for this figure to decrease, it is important to carry out good management of hunting populations, so that traffic accidents decrease and it is something that hunting contributes to society and that not everyone knows about.
2. Disease control
Hunting is essential to guarantee the presence of a balanced number of animals that is bearable for the territory and ecosystem where they live.
An excess population of a species in a given area poses a threat to public health and safety, as well as to its natural environment and other types of fauna. On many occasions, it usually causes problems due to food shortages, which means that some species are forced to leave their environment and approach inhabited areas in search of food. As well as contracting diseases that affect both domestic animals and humans.
3. Economic impact on rural areas
Hunting generates an impact of 6,475 million euros on GDP each year and helps maintain 186,758 jobs, the vast majority in rural areas. It directly contributes 614 million euros to public coffers through fees and taxes.
Hunting creates jobs. As provided by the applicable regulations, there are a number of activities, such as population management, deer stalking, hunts and execution of exceptional authorizations in which the hiring of a game warden is mandatory, thus creating a series of job occupations that fix employment in rural areas.
We must not forget the jobs that are created in gun shops, service companies, veterinary clinics, the sale of splints, etc.
4. Environmental conservation tool
The sector invests almost 300 million euros annually in the protection, conservation and improvement of our ecosystems. As a sporting activity it is the third most practiced in Spain, only behind football and basketball. One in three Spanish preserves actively participates in conservation programs for species such as the Iberian lynx, the brown bear and the imperial eagle.
In the same way that rural areas with hunting grounds experience a significant economic boost, there is also a positive effect on the natural environment that surrounds these towns. The activity in hunting reserves favors the cleaning of the forests and the natural areas where it is practiced.
5. Management tool that avoids paying more taxes
Among the main results of the study carried out by the Artemisan Foundation on Opinions and attitudes of Spanish society towards hunting, it stands out that more than 60% of Spaniards agree that they are not willing to pay more taxes for the Public Administration to take charge of the control of wildlife populations and, in addition, 71% of those surveyed are in favor of using hunting to carry out this control.
6. Recovery of protected species
Certain animals are currently in serious danger of extinction, such as the Iberian lynx, which abounds in hunting grounds. You should know that hunting endangered animals is totally prohibited by law, and anyone who does so can be fined or even go to jail. In these demarcated areas, their development and growth are favored, reducing the problem of their disappearance. Thus, the Iberian lynx survived since the populations of wild rabbits and partridges were kept in private reserves for their food.
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Author: María Balletbó