Earlier this month Animalia gave the Anti-Animal Award of the Year to Jari Leppä, Finnish Minister of Agriculture and Forestry, for his questionable interpretation of the EU Invasive Alien Species Regulation.
As a result of this interpretation, Finnish government introduced changes in the Hunting Act which now allows raccoon dogs to be hunted without restrictions. At the same time, Finland has been given a special 30-year permission by the European Commission to farm raccoon dogs for fur.
The EU Invasive Alien Species Regulation obliges Member States to regulate the populations of non-native species while avoiding, as much as possible, unnecessary pain, stress and suffering. The Regulation doesn’t require the removal of hunting restrictions, but the Finnish interpretation of the Regulation means that raccoon dogs can now be killed without a hunting license and by using hunting methods that are often prohibited for other species.
#antianimalia-eläinvastaisuuspalkinto on jaettu, saajana @JariLeppa! Kyseenalaiseen tunnustukseen johti EU:n vieraslajiasetuksen tulkinta, jonka johdosta mm. supikoiria saa Suomessa tappaa ilman metsästystutkintoa, muutoin kielletyillä metsästysvälineillä. #animaliary https://t.co/2fK7JnFzuI
— Animalia ry (@animaliary) November 13, 2019
Animalia’s Executive Director Heidi Kivekäs considers this to be in direct conflict with the Finnish Animal Welfare Act, as well as the EU Regulation. “The changes to the Hunting Act will cause significant animal welfare problems and considerable suffering for the animals. It is also incomprehensible that Finland continues to farm a species that is not wanted in its nature,” she said.