Budaj Wants to Talk to Kollar about Bears, Parliamentary Chair Welcomes It

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Brown bear (stock photo by TASR)

Bratislava, June 16 (TASR) – Environment Minister Jan Budaj (OLaNO) wants to meet with Parliamentary Chair and ‘We Are Family’ leader Boris Kollar to solve together the problem of bears.


Budaj also wrote him a letter. Kollar welcomes the given hand. “It’s a serious matter and I’m glad the [environment] minister is aware of it,” he told TASR.

Kollar wants to deal with the problem of bears by regulation. According to him, the state could do it and shooting via permits wouldn’t have to be used. “I don’t need to support hunting or shooting bears for fun. We must regulate their state, the number of bears. Regulation every year,” said the head of Parliament.

Budaj didn’t want to comment on Kollar’s messages that he won’t support him in a possible no-confidence vote. Kollar also said that Budaj is politically accountable for the growing number of bear attacks in the country. “I obey the law. If it’s a negative political responsibility, I’ll be happy to convince him that we aren’t doing anything that we’ve neglected or that we haven’t neglected anything,” responded the minister.

 

Meanwhile, Minister Budaj said at a press conference that problems with bears in the Podpolanie area in central Slovakia are caused by feeding racks and baits for wildlife created by hunters, adding that there are 28 baits with four tonnes of feed. Budaj therefore called on Agriculture Minister Samuel Vlcan (an OLaNO nominee) to immediately stop feeding the game in the Podpolanie area.

The environment minister maintains that the bear stops eating natural food if it has feeding racks available. “The feeding of deer and wild boar cannot be separated from bears,” he noted, adding that bears have become accustomed to feeding, they like sweet food and therefore move to lower areas. According to Budaj, some bears that are used to it will have to be eliminated from the population.

Budaj declared that all bears that show a loss of shyness or collided with inhabitants will be eliminated by the State Nature Protection (SOP) brown bear intervention team. “Between 2015-2022, 53 percent of bear shooting took place in the Podpolanie area,” he said.