Kill or transfer, and therefore save, the bears of Trentino? The single section of the Administrative Court of Trento will issue the sentence on Thursday 25 which will mark the point of the Jj4 bear and the Mj5 bear. The first specimen is held responsible for the fatal attack against Andrea Papi in the afternoon of 5 April in the Caldes woods in Val di Non (the first victim of a bear in Italy for 150 years), while the second is considered “problematic” because last March he injured a hiker in Val di Rabbi. Therefore, on Thursday the judges of the TAR will find many documents on the table but above all before a crossroads that will in some way mark the future management of large predators in Italy.
So there are two possibilities. The first is to implement the ordinances that provide for the killing of the two bears and, therefore, agree with the signatory, the president of the Autonomous Province of Trento Maurizio Fugatti. The second, however, is to transfer the two bears to one of the sanctuaries abroad (there are already four who have offered themselves, two in Germany, one in Romania and one in Jordan) and, therefore, accept the reasons expressed in the various appeals by animal welfare ociations, Lav Italia in the first place. The Tar, heavily involved in the appeals, complaints, complaints and public opinion, has suspended the culling orders. However, Thursday may not be the last episode of the legal case involving the bears Jj4 and Mj5. In fact, both if the Regional Administrative Court agrees with the Province and with the animal welfare ociations, there is obviously also an appeal option.
The bear Jj4 was captured and has been at the Casteller wildlife center for a month, where for three years there has also been ‘M49-Papillon’, the bear of daring escapes. The specimen ‘Mj5’ is in the wild. Contrary to what was communicated by the AGI, citing sources from the Lav, a request for freedom of M49 will not be presented at that time: the Lav confirms its battle for all the closed bears, but not with specific action for Papillon.
The week of the Tar hearing was anticipated by opposing demonstrations starting from Piazza Dante, a few steps from the building of the Autonomous Province of Trento. Governor Fugatti also spoke at the rally against the presence of bears in Trentino – and in any case not so many, the estimate is 120 bears – reiterating the concept of culling “when the bears become proportionally greater in number than the coexistence of animal” but the possible transfer is not excluded as also hypothesized by the Ministry of the Environment. There was also a large demonstration by animal rights activists who asked to save “the bears threatened by Fugatti’s ordinance”.
The Anti-Vivisection League, the first to oppose the culling by presenting appeals and complaints, organized a vigil in Piazza D’Arogno in the Trentino capital on Wednesday evening. The Trentino Tar had accepted the appeals also presented by the other animal rights ociations, Enpa, Leal, Leidaa and Oipa with some of them also turning to the Public Prosecutor’s Office. The activists of ‘Centopercentoanimalisti’ last weekend at the Casteller fence where ‘Jj4’ is locked up posted a banner with the words ‘Tar do the right thing’. On the morning of the hearing, the ‘StopCasteller’ activists will be present in via Calepina outside the Tar office.