On Tuesday, the Romanian government issued a ban on the hunting of large carnivores, including brown bears, wolves, lynxes, and wild cats. Since Romania’s accession to the European Union in 2007, the numbers of animals hunted in the region has increased steadily, and 2016 marked the highest hunting quotas (550 bears, 600 wolves, and 500 big cats were authorized to be killed by hunters). Trophy hunting in Romania’s Carpathian mountains is big business, as hunters pay upwards of $9,800 to kill wild animals in the region. “The Carpathian mountains are home to more biodiversity than anywhere else in Europe,” conservationist Gabriel Paun says, “but for too long they have been ruthlessly exploited for forestry and hunting. Let’s hope the government’s decision is a sign of things to come.” In addition to trophy hunting, wild animals are killed across the globe thanks to government mandated culls to protect profits from animal agriculture. This is evidenced by Norway’s recent decision to kill 70 percent of its wolf population in an area where sheep farming profits are threatened by the predatory animals.
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