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Landowners get right to refuse hunting access
Photo: DPA

Landowners get right to refuse hunting access

Published: 27 Jun 2012 09:20 GMT+02:00
Updated: 27 Jun 2012 09:20 GMT+02:00

Landowners have been told they have the right to refuse access to hunters, after the European Court for Human Rights (ECHR) stepped in and told the German government they must change the domestic rules.

The court also on Tuesday awarded a man €5,000 in damages for having had hunters on his land in contravention of his wishes.

German landowners have until now had no option of banning hunting on their land. They have automatically been members of a hunting cooperative meaning that they must accommodate the activity regardless of how much land they own or whether it is classed as private.

The complainant, from the rural town of Stutensee in Baden-Württemberg, felt that having people hunting on his 75-acres of land against his beliefs violated his fundamental rights.

The ECHR decided that the man's basic rights had been breached and has passed the case back to the German authorities. They cannot appeal the decision but must work out how to change the current regulations.

DPA/The local/jcw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

12:55 June 27, 2012 by pepsionice
Before folks get excited over this....the vast amount of hunting takes place on property where an arrangement is usually made....a hunters stand is in place....and the property owner is in on the situation. In this case, I suspect the hunter just placed himself on the private property....with no arrangement at all.
13:03 June 27, 2012 by pigsnuck
As far as I understand, the situation prior to this ruling was that all cultivated land in Germany must be hunted. This meant owners could choose which hunter and require a fee, but could not ban hunting altogether. It was always illegal to just hunt on private land without (usually purchasing) rights. In addition, when a hunter shoots an animal, he must also pay the landowner for the meat. Hermann Goering actually wrote most of the current hunting rules in Germany, so perhaps it is time to re-examine them anyway. ;)

But personally, I will just wait to go back to New Zealand on holiday, where one can simply walk into the national forests and start plugging deer, goats and pigs for free.
14:37 June 27, 2012 by BR549
As a "Jäger" here in Germany, let me clarify...firstly, in Germany, we have a "Revier System" where X number of hectares is leased by an individual (Pächter). In the boundary of the revier, all land is potentially hunted on for wildlife management, but in Germany, private land owners have always had the right to talk with a Pächter and refuse hunting on his land. Normally, these people know each other and is a Gentleman's agrrement. In my humble opinion, this is a case where a land owner and a Pächter could or would not work it and handled it like Americans...litigation.

Now the EU makes another ruling to "whittle away" at Germany and other EU members managing themselves and remaining a nation... given time and more "rulings", these countries will just be a "state" under a Federal type rule.
05:09 June 28, 2012 by CoolBlueIce
A few years ago (well... quite a few, actually) bumper stickers began to appear in the US that stated, "Ask first before hunting on private land". Shortly thereafter, stickers began to appear that stated, "Ask first if the animal really wants to be killed". ... Just sayin' (in the parlance of our time.)
12:58 June 28, 2012 by redleg
I would assume then if the landowner ( a farmer for this scenario), does not allow hunting. Then I would argue that the he would be iIneligible for for the wildschaden or crop damage caused by the animals. Last time I checked, the animals can't read the "no hunting" posts. Also hunting pressures from other reveirs will push the animals to the non-hunted reveirs and cause even more damage.
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