Slovenia is about to kill around 100 of its brown bears

The Minister of the Environment and Spatial Planning of Slovenia, Mr. Janez Podobnik, has issued a decree by which approximately 100 brown bears should be killed in 2006.

The Minister argues that there are too many bears in Slovenia and that the size of population of the animal has to be balanced with the environment.

In Slovenia, the brown bear is an endangered species, protected by the Endangered Species Act. The Minister’s decision to decree the culling of the bear population – arguing overpopulation, no less – is therefore incomprehensible. How can there be »too many« bears if they are endangered and accordingly protected by a number of legal acts, in Slovenia itself as well as internationally?

Besides, nature can be trusted to take care of overpopulation and ensure natural balance by itself – it is not necessary for man to do so. In many areas where hunting is outlawed (e.g. natural parks and reserves) there are no occurrences of natural imbalance. Human interfering with natural processes will only bring about even greater imbalance.

Even though the Minister of the Environment and Spatial Planning is bound by the Constitution of the Republic of Slovenia to ensure the preservation of the environment and natural habitats, he has decreed the killing of no less than 100 inhabitants of this country – for they are living beings and a part of our natural wealth. 
Is the killing of bears consistent with preserving this natural wealth – or is it about destroying it? 

Even though any incitement to violence is unconstitutional, the Minister of the Environment himself has decreed the killing of living creatures, which will inflict immeasurable violence upon nature. And even though torture of animals is expressly forbidden by the Slovene constitution, the animals to be killed will be victims of immense suffering.

Furthermore, Slovenia already has a strategy of brown bear population management. It was adopted by the government and it provides for many non-violent means which could be used in this case, without having to resort to killing. In light of this Strategy, the Minister’s decision to order the killing of bears, instead of managing their population by other means available, is even more incomprehensible and unacceptable.

We ask you to join us in our protest against the imminent killing of bears.

The Society for the Rights and the Liberation of Animals
Stanko Valpatič, President

Address your protest to:

Janez Podobnik
The Minister of the Environment and Spatial Planning
Government of the Republic of Slovenia
Dunajska c. 48, SI-1000 Ljubljana
E-mail: janez.podobnik@gov.si

Janez Janša
President of government of the Republic of Slovenia
Gregorčičeva 20, 25, SI-1000 Ljubljana
E-mail: gp.kpv@gov.si

Dr. Janez Drnovšek
President of the Republic of Slovenia
Erjavčeva 17, SI-1000 Ljubljana
E-mail: gp.uprs@up-rs.si

Below is a sample protest letter. 
Feel free to edit it.

Your Excellency,

I, the undersigned, protest against the killing of 100 brown bears in Slovenia, planned to take place in 2006.

There is no rhyme or reason in causing suffering to innocent living creatures and in violence towards nature.

If it is true, as alleged, that there are too many bears in Slovenia, that is no reason for resorting to killing, as there are other, non-violent means of resolving the situation. Slovenia has provided for such means, witness its Strategy of brown bear population management. Furthermore, nature can be trusted to ensure natural balance on its own; there is no reason for man to interfere, as attested by numerous natural reserves where there is no hunting and also no imbalance. Human interfering with natural processes can bring about ever greater imbalance – and ever greater damage to all of us.

Your Excellency, I appeal to you to do everything in your power to prevent the planned killing of bears – the killing of innocent living beings that have the same right to life as humans.

Thank you for your kind attention.

Sincerely,

(Your name and address)