Thursday May 06, 2021

Metsähallitus for banning hunting in national parks

Published : 13 Apr 2021, 21:17

Updated : 14 Apr 2021, 11:04

  DF Report

File picture of hunters with hunting rifles. Photo Lapland Material Bank by Olli Autonen.

The state-run forest agency Metsähallitus has proposed to impose a ban on hunting in some areas of the country’s national parks to ensure safety of the people in the parks.

Metsähallitus made the proposal following the deaths of two people in separate incidents of shooting in the park last year, the national broadcaster Yle quoted official sources as saying.

A cyclist was killed in an accidental shooting at the Urho Kekkonen National Park on 18 October last year.

The accident took place when the cyclist and four other mountain bikers were passing through an area between Kemihaara and Korvatunturi.

The 30-year old-victim, who hailed from Helsinki, succumbed to his bullet wound at the spot, while the four others remained unhurt.

It was the second incident of accidental shooting causing human death by a hunter in the country in October 2020.

Metsähallitus Lapland Regional Director Jyrki Tolonen told Yle that the measures could be introduced in areas that are particularly popular with hikers and other outdoor sports enthusiasts.

“We are not even proposing a total ban on hunting in national parks. Not very many [hunters] would even go to these tourist areas to hunt, but it would be clearer and safer that hunting in these places is completely banned,” the Yle report quoted Tolonen as saying.

The proposal was forwarded to local game management associations and the associations also reviewed it and the final report in this regard will be ready within a few weeks, said the director.