A verdict of the High Court of Justice of the region Castilla y León, Spain overturns the 2016 – 2019 wolf hunting programme. Hence, it declares the death of 173 wolves in Castilla y León illegal.
The Spanish NGO ASCEL informed us about the verdict in favor of their request issued in June 2017 to cancel the county´s hunting quota on wolves north of Douro river from 2016 to 2019. The “Junta de Castilla y León” (regional government) approved the quota in a resolution on 29th July 2016. This resolution started a programme to systematically kill a species that is protected and a key species for our environmental health.
ASCEL strives to put an end to this as soon as possible, to avoid more useless deaths
The verdict is a milestone in the adjustment of old rules towards environmental protection. The verdict clarifies that animals cannot be killed unjustifiably and that you cannot hunt a protected species.
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Illegally killed wolves must be compensated
Not only does the verdict overturn the resolution that covers hunting in those three years. But it determines that deaths must be compensated. During that period hunters killed 173 wolves in Castilla y León , 91 in 2016 and 82 in 2017. In 2018, the court suspended the quota at the request of ASCEL. That means € 1.602.153 must be paid as compensation to ‘repair damage caused to the environment by the hunting of wolves’. This must happen through a programme that ‘must understand the necessary performances for the recovery of the Iberian Wolf, its conservation and for the dissemination of the importance of the species’.
The scenario is heartbreaking, because the verdict means that all prior rules to hunt wolves in the region since 2010 were illegal. Hunters in Castilla y León therefore killed hundreds of wolves unlawfully.
It is impossible to believe that the current Regional Development Plan for 2019 – 2022 may have a different outcome. It is cast from the overturned plan, without endorsement of the wolf plan (cancelled), nor the hunting decree (cancelled regarding the the wolf).