TIR is pleased: Berne bans underground hunting
Last Monday, the Grand Council of Berne to ban underground hunting. This makes Berne the third canton to prohibit this cruel practice. The Stiftung für das Tier im Recht (TIR; Foundation for the Animal in the Law), which has been campaigning against underground hunting for a long time, is very pleased about the decision of the Bernese Parliament.
September 15, 2021
In underground hunting, specially trained dogs are sent into fox or badger burrows to drive the hunted animals out so that they can be shot by the hunters waiting outside the burrow. This often results in underground fights in which both the dog and the wild animal suffer from significant injuries or are sometimes killed. This hunting method is particularly cruel because foxes and badgers are attacked in their refuges where they raise their young.
TIR has been campaigning for the abolition of underground hunting for many years. In 2012, it published an expert report on underground hunting in volume 10 of its book series “Schriften zum Tier im Recht” (Publications on the animal in the law).
In its expert report, TIR concludes that this hunting method clearly qualifies as animal cruelty according to the Animal Welfare Act. Nonetheless, this hunting method is legalized in various federal and cantonal decrees without any legal basis.
Von Arx was in close contact with TIR regarding the wording of his motion and the corresponding argumentation, and explicitly referred to TIR’s expert report in the text of the motion. TIR is very pleased that the Grand Council agreed with the arguments put forth by the motion’s author and imposed a general ban on underground hunting. After Thurgau (see see TIR’s news report of April 19, 2017) and Zurich (see TIR’s news report of November 9, 2020), Berne is the third canton to ban this cruel hunting practice. TIR hopes that these bans will set an example for other cantons.