Trophy hunting for ibex is prohibited for foreign hunters in Valais. However, some American hunting providers advertise hunting safaris on the animals. And there should also be kills.
Zermatt/Munich – A man with a shot ibex in front of a mountain backdrop. This is shown by the photo on the website of an American provider of hunting trips. He praises Switzerland as the country that comes to mind when you think of the European Alps, ibex and chamois. He also mentions that obtaining a hunting license is “pretty complicated”. Another catch: The mountains in the background – Castor, Pollux and Breithorn – left no doubt that it was the posh holiday resort of Zermatt, writes the Basel Sunday newspaper. And here, ibex shooting by people from abroad has been prohibited for a good two years.
Forbidden ibex hunting in Valais – 25,000 francs for a kill
The trigger for the ban was a contribution from the French-speaking Swiss television RTS CHF. A team had made public how wealthy foreigners in Valais went hunting for ibex trophies. The longer the horns, the higher the price. Some hunters paid up to 25,000 francs for a kill. The contribution would have resulted in a great deal of polemics. A petition calling for a ban on trophy hunting was signed by around 70,000 people. In the meantime, only people residing in the canton of Valais or those with a Valais hunting license are allowed to hunt the so-called ibex. Realignments to hunting also repeatedly cause debates in Germany.
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The Valais authorities explain opposite blick.ch, their hands are tied. One cannot dictate to hunting providers what they advertise on their sites. And even if, in principle, people from abroad can no longer carry out kills, the problem is that not everyone adheres to it. Again and again, Valais game wardens would be accused and convicted in court, the department for hunting, fishing and wildlife said at the newspaper’s request. Because they don’t always take the law that seriously. A year ago, an American hunter would have released a film about his ibex shot near St. Maurice in Valais.
Forbidden ibex hunting in Valais – regulation of the animals is necessary
The regulation of the animals in the Valais Alps is necessary. Today around 6000 ibexes live there. Several hundred animals are shot every year. The ibexes have almost no natural enemies. On the one hand, this should prevent diseases from spreading in the livestock. On the other hand, damage caused by browsing must be kept within limits. The canton therefore draws up an annual shooting plan for regulation, which the Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN) must approve.
Make ibex hunting possible for foreign hunters – but no more safaris
If the ibex population has to be regulated anyway and foreign hunters are willing to pay a lot of money for it, then the canton can generate welcome income, says Nicolas Bourquin. However, the head of the Department for Hunting, Fisheries and Wildlife opposes the CHF clear: “It can’t go the way it used to. If we were to do that again, it would no longer be through tour operators who offer ‘ibex safaris’.” In that case, contact would take place directly between the foreign hunter and the canton. And shootings are therefore carried out according to ethical guidelines.
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