Suomen Metsästäjäliitto

Do you want a future for hunting?

02.08.2022 17:26
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Do you want a future for hunting?

The future of hunting and conservation is under threat.

Bird hunting, habitat for game, large carnivore management, Europe’s hunting cultures, and our incentives to conserve nature are at risk from problematic policy-making.

Sign now to urge Brussels’ policymakers to work with hunters not against!

Public consultation on ammunition re-opened

07.07.2022 13:49
The new ECHA consultation is open until 6 October 2022. It should be noted that last week, ECHA opened its socio-economic consultation (for 2 months), with new proposals including to reduce the transition period for lead shot to 18 months.

Chemicals Agency (ECHA) has opened today a three-month targeted consultation on data used to establish the risks posed by lead in game meat (link).

This follows the failure of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) to provide information in a timely manner that informed a substantial pillar of ECHA’s current opinion on risks from consuming game meat. Back in February 2021, FACE requested the EFSA data, which should have taken 15 days. However, since the start of FACE’s access request, there were numerous delays as well as attempts of justification and extended deadlines. After ECHA’s public consultation closed in September 2021, ECHA sent the requested documents to FACE, almost eight months later.

This unacceptable delay was reported to the Ombudsman (link), who highlighted a case of “maladministration” by EFSA regarding its inability to provide key documents in a timely manner. The delay meant that stakeholders were prevented from substantiating comments made during last year’s public consultation regarding the ongoing restriction procedure on lead in ammunition under REACH.

As the procedural defect is critical, FACE requested the reopening of the public consultation at which all interested parties could present evidence related to the ECHA’s human health risk assessment. ECHA refused FACE’s request, but the European Commission stepped in, agreeing that fairness is required.

FACE recently launched the European Hunters’ Campaign to call for fair play from the EU institutions. For more information on the campaign’s requests, see www.SignForHunting.com

Hunting trip to Finland?

13.05.2022 19:31
Hunters in the middle of snow
Hunting in Finland requires that four things are taken care of in good time before the planned hunting trip. For this reason, planning should start well ahead of the trip.

A couple of thousand hunters from abroad visit Finland every year. In particular, hunting for white-tailed deer, moose and grouse attracts hunters to Finland.

Getting a hunting card

“Foreign citizens can get a Finnish hunting card for one season at a time, if they have the right to hunt in their own country. Similarly, a certificate of equivalence for a shooting test can be obtained if the person has the right to hunt ‘similar-sized game’ in their own country”, says Paula Laukkanen, Executive Director of the Helsinki Game Management Association.

“Both the hunting card and the certificate of equivalence for a shooting test cost the same for a foreigner as for a Finn.”

The application for a hunting card is addressed to the executive director of the relevant game management association, whose contact details can be found on the Riista.fi website

“The application must be accompanied by a copy of the hunting card, or equivalent proof of the person’s right to hunt in their own country, as well as an account of citizenship.

If a certificate of equivalence for a shooting test is required, a certificate of a shooting test and/or proof of the right to hunt ‘similar-sized game’ in the person’s own country is also attached.”

Other permits and certificates

A foreign hunter must also have a hunting permit for a particular area. Hunting permits are sold or issued by hunting rights holders, such as landowners, hunting associations and, on state-owned land, Metsähallitus.

The shooting test certificate can be obtained at the same time as the order is placed for a Finnish hunting card.

The executive director of a game management association is given a valid certificate of a shooting test approved in another country, including the necessary translations, or proof of the guest’s right to hunt game animals of similar size in their own country.

A hunter who does not have a shooting test certificate, or is unable to provide acceptable documentation, must take a Finnish shooting test in accordance with the regulations in force.

Shooting tests are organized by game management associations, especially in summer and early autumn.

 

INFO

Foreign citizens are allowed to hunt if they have the following permits and documents:

• a Finnish hunting card
• a hunting right or a hunting permit granted by the landowner or a holder of hunting right
• the right to possess a firearm
Attention must be paid to hunting periods and, in the case of certain game animals, also to the hunting licence or exemption.

The brochure Hunting in Finland is available in various languages under the link https://riista.fi/julkaisut/esitteet/

 

Hunter, please help Ukraine by donating funds to well-known organisations operating in the crisis areas

05.05.2022 14:10
Russia's attack on Ukraine has made many Finns want to help Ukraine, and the Finnish Hunters Association has received queries regarding the possibility to organise money collections in order to help Ukraine.

The Finnish Hunters' Association, along with persons elected to a position of trust, has considered the matter and come to the conclusion that the Association does not have the necessary expertise to operate in crisis areas.

-The members of the Hunters' Association are certainly shocked by the situation in Ukraine, but, unfortunately, the Association does not have the expertise, know-how, resources or channels required to provide crisis assistance. However, we hope that hunters will also help the Ukrainians by providing aid to them through well-known operators. 

Vastuullinen lahjoittaminen ry (VaLa) is a cooperation network of non-profit organisations engaged in fundraising. The Finnish Hunters' Association is one of the member organisations of VaLa- The member communities of VaLa represent approximately one million donors and supporters.

Finland has several organisations that provide assistance should a crisis or disaster occur somewhere in the world. Donations are used to provide humanitarian aid in crisis areas in many ways, for example by distributing emergency supplies and assisting people in basic everyday matters through the efforts of aid workers. Check out the collections that communities are organising to help the situation in Ukraine here:

https://www.vala.fi/b/rahalahjoitukset-ukrainaan

CIC (International council for game and wildlife conservation) also collects funds: https://payment.cic-wildlife.org/purchasable/760

Donate and support Finnish hunting!

05.05.2022 14:03
Hunting is part of Finnish outdoor culture. Its roots and effect on well-being are a visible part of society. By supporting our activities, you help us promote Finnish hunting and game management and our work for the diversity of nature.

By donating funds, you support our activities, safeguard the continuity of Finnish hunting and help us to support and maintain the activities of Finnish hunting clubs and to make the social benefits and welfare impacts of hunting available to an increasing number of Finns. You can help young people getting started with a new and good hobby or prevent rural depopulation. Even if you do not hunt yourself, you can donate future to hunting. 

Donate to youth work, game management or game shooting > >  lahjoitus.metsastajaliitto.fi

The Finnish Hunters’ Association has received wishes regarding the possibility to use Facebook in making donations, and now this is possible: A member of the public may start a donation campaign on Facebook for the good of the Finnish Hunters’ Association, for example, to celebrate one’s birthday.

Donate on Facebook >> facebook.com/fund/Metsastajaliitto

 

Licence to collect money: RA/2022/484 25.3.2022
Valid from 25 March 2022 in the whole of Finland except on Åland.

Summer cottage owners to catch invasive alien predators

26.04.2022 09:05
With the help of funding from the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, the Finnish Hunters' Association has launched a two-year project aimed at encouraging cottage owners to catch invasive alien predators either by themselves or to ask for help from hunters in the area.

The aim of the project is to make the residents of the cottages understand the detrimental effect of alien predators on the native bird populations and to see their own important role in controlling alien predator populations, which in particular, helps to improve waterfowl populations. Understanding and knowledge is important to reduce the alien small predator populations.

Catching mink or raccoon dogs does not require a hunter’s examination

The hunting legislation and the Alien Species Act and Decree were modified in 2019 so that catching mink and raccoon dogs no longer requires a completed hunter’s examination or a paid game management fee. However, catching invasive alien predators must be authorised by the landowner or the holder of the hunting licence and must be carried out ethically. According to the updated legislation, cottage residents can also catch mink and raccoon dogs. The project prepares electronic and printed training and advisory materials. The aim is also to encourage cottage residents to ask for help from local hunting clubs, especially when catching raccoon dogs. Raccoon dog traps catch the raccoon dogs alive.

The project will create regional and local networks to find help to install traps and organising hunting. The project will also create the capacity for local hunting clubs and hunters in the area to provide assistance to cottage residents for catching mink and raccoon dogs.

 

More information

Petri Passila
Petri Passila
Hankevastaava
Vieraspeto-hanke
040 511 7114

Hunting Right Lease can also include more extensive cooperation

01.03.2022 07:18
As a rule, the payment for a landowner who is not a member of a club is considered to be the regulation of animal populations which contributes to financial savings for the landowner. Clubs may also provide landowners with various other services as part of the hunting right lease.

In addition to private landowners, land is increasingly more often owned by forest and investment companies, which seek to obtain financial value for hunting right leases. As hunting clubs are mainly local communities and non-profit associations, they often lack significant funds. This means that the value of the association’s activities comes through the community. The association proposes that instead of money, the payment for hunting rights can also be agreed to be other services on a case-by-case basis that are suited to the nature of the club’s activities.

Instead of money, hunters may commit to reporting forest, insect or road damage to the landowner, among other services. Reporting environmental damage or alien plant species may also be separately agreed in writing in the Hunting Right Lease. The larger the area, the more valuable these services are. Sections related to nature management in the area may also be added to the agreement; hunting clubs may make game counts, place salt licks or remove alien species, such as mink and raccoon dogs.

‘As hunters spend hundreds of hours in the forest, they notice areas destroyed by the moose and other damage, and it is customary to report the more significant recent cases to the landowner. Especially for forest owners living farther away, including companies, the information that they get through the Finnish Hunter’s Association is highly appreciated,’ says Teemu Simenius, Organisation Manager of the Finnish Hunters' Association.

The majority of private forest owners have leased their land's hunting rights to the local hunting club. The payment for the lease is rarely taxable money. The greatest benefit for forest owners comes from the population regulation of elk and other cervids done by hunters. Hunters have to balance between viable populations and as little forest damage by cervids as possible. This is not an easy task, as population fluctuations and uneven placement of populations are more a rule in the animal world than an exception.

 

 

More information

Teemu Simenius
Teemu Simenius
järjestöpäällikkö
+358 50 331 5330
seuratoiminta, lakiasiat

The World Wetlands Day

07.02.2022 13:29
The World Wetlands Day was held February 2nd to highlight the importance of wetlands conservation and sustainable use. 

Finland is an important breeding area for numerous European ducks. Therefore, we have a great responsibility to take care of natural breeding sites as well as to protect birds against alien predators. The loss of productive sites and predation are the biggest threats to waterfowl in Finland.

In the past seven decades, agricultural use of land has drained off a significant portion of bogs and natural wetlands. Loss of natural wetlands combined with invasive predators such as the raccoon-dog and American mink has caused notable declines for waders and ducks. The difficult unpredictable effects of climate change increase the negative consequences for waterfowl and the whole ecological system. 
 
Finnish Hunters’ Association honored Wetlands Day by setting new duck tubes to Sammalistonsuo wetlands. The tubes were made by 4H hunting and fishing youth club members led by Hunters’ Associations waterfowl specialists. 

The frozen conditions serve Finnish duck nest activities well. Late winter is an optimal time to drill holes thru the ice and set poles into the shallow water bottom. The nest tubes are then attached on to top of poles. Both nest poles have predator guards even though they are placed on the water.

The new nest tubes were set visible to people to allow us to follow how they are welcomed by the end users. The wetland site has some 250 different kinds of man made bird boxes. Most are for smaller birds but there are also off the ground boxes for goldeneyes, ground boxes for common pochard and now five new duck tubes for mallards or for the common coot. We will follow and report the results of our nesting project. So far, the site's nest tubes have been a great success with mallards. 
 
Sammalistonsuo is located next to Riihimäki city about 70 km north of the capital city of Helsinki.  The area covers over 20 hectares of an old peat extraction site. This region of south-west Finland has less natural open waters than the eastern parts. Therefore man made wetlands can help gather a wide variety of waders, ducks and shorebirds.

Sammalistonsuo wetlands were made to filter and clean the surrounding areas' drainage waters and to be a diverse habitat for birds. After two decades of development, it is now one of the top wetlands in the southern Finland region. The area is managed by the local nature conservation club, BirdLife and by local hunters. Local hunters are specially focused on catching invasive alien predators to secure breeding times.

The Finnish Hunters’ Association also uses parts of the site for sustainable waterfowling by local young hunters.    

GoogleMaps: https://goo.gl/maps/ng5QHAkss1uoVHgM6
 

Training for wildboar hunters

13.12.2021 16:37
wild boar
The two-year project, funded by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, trains hunters to manage the wild boar population and reduce the African swine fever (ASF) risk.

The project’s goal is to improve the conditions for hunters to effectively regulate the wild boar population. The aim is for the hunters participating in the project to have sufficient knowledge for efficient and safe hunting and safe handling of wild boar. The Finnish Hunters' Association is cooperating with the Finnish Food Authority in the project.

According to the Finnish Hunters' Association, the wild boar population must be kept small by active hunting. The wild boar population currently poses a major risk to agriculture due to the threat of the spread of ASF, or African swine fever.

Average size of the population

January 2021:  Approx. 3,400 wild boar

Number of catches

1.8.2020–31.7.2021

1,343

1.8.2019–31.7.2020

1,211

 

Training for Hunters

Wild boar is a relative newcomer to Finland, and that is why training for hunters is necessary as experience of hunting wild boar is currently low in most parts of Finland. Currently, a wild boar hunting culture only exists around the south-eastern border area. The wild boar belongs to the big game category, and its hunting requires passing a shooting test and there are certain requirements for the weapon that the hunter can use.

African swine fever threatens not only the wild boar population but also the entire pig farming industry. A single case of the disease detected in Finland would endanger the entire export of Finnish pork. African swine fever is an animal disease that is legally under special control and prevention measures in the EU and Finland. ASF control and prevention measures are based on risk assessments made by the Finnish Food Safety Authority. As African swine fever is also spread through pork products, the disease has a major impact on trade in pork. If ASF infection is detected in the terrain, a restriction zone will be established, which will also affect hunting of other species.

Another goal of the project is to prepare for the prevention of the spread of ASF if the disease enters Finland despite precautions.

More information

Link between hunting and conservation in Europe demonstrated by major initiative

26.11.2021 09:50
Biodiversity manifesto
The link between hunting and conservation is widely recognised. However, there has not been any European-wide project to demonstrate the conservation efforts undertaken by over 7,000,000 hunters.

In response to the EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030, FACE has delighted to launch its new Biodiversity Manifesto, which is Europe’s first evidence-based platform showing how Europe’s hunters conserve biodiversity.

The platform, which is hosted on BiodiversityManifesto.com, offers a new, user-friendly platform with information on hunting-related conservation initiatives throughout Europe.

The substantial and growing database of over 470 hunting-related conservation projects shows the importance of hunters’ efforts within and outside protected areas, on a variety of different habitat types and species.