BUCHAREST, July 22 (Hfrance.fr) - Romania has given municipal authorities the power to shoot bears that break into yards and homes, angering environmental groups who said the government should try other techniques to deal with protected animals.
The government has said the new order is a short-term measure to stem an increase in bear attacks and sightings of nature animals in built-up areas, although he did not give any figures.
The state of the European Union has the most large European brown bear population - around 6,000 - outside of Russia.
Newspapers regularly publish reports of attacks against humans and cattle and bears breaking into kitchens and colliding with cars.
Before Wednesday's government decree, local authorities needed the approval of the Ministry of the Environment whenever they wanted to get rid of a dangerous bear.
Under the new rules, the authorities are still encouragedtrying to chase the bear or to tranquilize it and move it before resorting to firearms.
But the protection groups of the Environment Agent Green and WWF said they fear shooting will now become the rule and not the exception. Authorities had also not done enough to try other preventive measures, including electric fences, they said.
Environmental groups say sightings have increased as animal habitats are threatened. by construction, logging and climate change.
Many bears are also attracted to illegal dumps on the outskirts of cities and to the food left behind by tourists.
"Until a complete waste management solution is in place, it is not that a question of tbefore the next bear arrives, "Csaba Domokos of the nature conservation NGO Milvus Group says. Report by Luiza Ilie; Edited by Andrew Heavens
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