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House committee bowing to hunters’ demands, says MP

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In the face of upcoming presidential elections, the House environment committee has become the place to serve the interests of hunters, Green’s MP Charalambos Theopemptou charged on Monday.

His comments came ahead of a discussion the committee is set to have on Wednesday regarding amendments to the hunting law.

One of the proposals concerns making it a crime to intentionally disturb, prevent or interfere with someone who is legally hunting.

The decision to introduce the amendment was not formally taken during the session with all MPs present, Theopemtou said.

“It’s not written in any of the scheduled topics for discussions. When one of the sessions was over and I left, they stayed behind and talked about it and told me about it later,” he said.

“It’s absurd if you think about what this amendment means. What if a farmer is using his truck? Will this be classed as interfering with a hunter’s work as the noise is scaring off the animals or something?”

Another amendment, which has already received the backing of the committee, is that the number of hunting dogs allowed per hunter will go up from two to four.

“Sometimes I wonder whether it’s worth me putting up a fight. I’m the only one against all this but there’s nine of them. They pass through whatever they want.”

Reports also suggest deputies may also discuss reducing the fines for the use of lime sticks used to catch song birds or ambelopoulia.

“This isn’t a committee for the environment. This should be called the committee that serves the interests of hunters.”

“There are a number of things that are pending for so long – legislation on environmental impact assessment studies for which there is an EU directive for and we have missed the deadline. It’s been on the agenda for a year but been ignored. The hunters however need to be accommodated,” Theopemptou said.

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