Valladolid – Seville – Zaragoza
The most recent report on the economic contribution of hunting in Spain figure at 6,457 million euros the impact of the activity on the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and in 187,000 the people that the sector employs. These are data extracted by the consulting firm Deloitte for the Artemisan Foundation and although the document is from 2018, the figures, they affirm from the foundation, continue to move in those scales. Hence the importance that hunters consider that they have measures such as the one announced yesterday by Castilla y León, which will lower the general rate of hunting and fishing licenses by 95 percent. This was announced yesterday by the Chairman of the Board, Alfonso Fernández Mañueco, during his visit to the Riberas de Castronuño Nature Reserve, in Valladolid. The objective pursued by your Government is add fans and incidentally attract those from other autonomous communities to generate wealth and economic activity in rural areas.
Although other communities such as Castilla-La Mancha announced a few days ago that they will follow these same steps, Mañueco stressed that Castilla y León will be the first to put it into practice, which he considered “good news.” A few weeks ago, Emiliano García-Page said that he would abolish tax rates for hunting and fishing and encouraged the rest of the autonomous communities to do the same to favor hunting tourism. And some are already at it.
It is the case of Andalusia, where the Hunting Law will be changed. Negotiations with the Andalusian Hunting Federation (FAC) have already concluded and for now the only thing they have agreed to is a reduction in the hunting license with groups of dogs or rehalas. José María Mancheño is the president of the FAC and explains to ABC that they proposed “a reduction of 50 percent of the licenses of hunters who were federated, but for now we do not have an answer. We do administrative work, we issue licenses, from which the Junta de Andalucía benefits, but the only thing that seemed certain is that those of rehala were going to be reduced, due to their unique nature, by between 60 and 80 percent ». “We hope that this descent in Castilla y León encourages us to make a similar decision here to encourage hunting,” he concludes.
More than 90,000 federated
The Andalusian Hunting Federation has 95,000 members, after the Football Federation it is the most numerous in the region, even above the Basketball Federation. The hunting license in Andalusia can be obtained from 20 euros annual in its most basic form. The FAC is an entity of recognized prestige for its contributions to the conservation of the environment and protected species, with scientific studies financed by themselves.
The Government of Aragon is also preparing the Order to regulate the General Hunting Plan 2022-2023. In his report, the Executive of the socialist Javier Lambán highlights the value of hunting activity and is committed to supporting it. Remember that the impact of hunting in Aragon around 260 million euros a year, contributes to the maintenance of about 8,500 jobs and generates tax revenues of 56 million to the public coffers.
In its report, the Aragonese Government emphasizes that hunting is a «Important source of wealth for Aragon» and it provides the agricultural sector with “tremendous indirect benefits”, because it is key to curbing or alleviating the overpopulation of species such as rabbit, roe deer, deer, mountain goat and wild boar.
The hunters applaud that the communities are going in this direction, since they see in the measures a way to revive not only the economy of the rural environment, but also life in some of the most depopulated areas of Spain. “Many times hunting is seen only from an economic perspective and we forget the importance of depopulation. And it is that many of us continue linked to the rural world thanks to hunting», Affirms with forcefulness Fernando Villanueva, director of the Artemisan Foundation. At the image level of the hunting sector, he says, the measure is also positive, since they see in it “a call to society about the importance of hunting”, as well as a claim for the youngest to be interested in the sector.
However, Villanueva advocates that the efforts go further and that the administrations also focus on promoting investment. «It is a key sector. Much of the natural spaces are in the hands of farmers and ranchers, but especially hunters. We need support to encourage employment. In the rural world there is little niche, and this is the largest, “he explains.
A single license
The president of the Royal Spanish Hunting Federation (RFEC), Manuel Gallardo, agrees: “All autonomous communities should apply it.” Also, in this line, expresses the need to expand the inter-autonomous license that they already have eight communities and that allows the practice in all of them for the price of approximately two licenses. “The logical thing would be to have a single license or costs such as those that Castilla y León is going to apply, also being an activity whose fans leave a lot of money in the territory through accommodation, restaurants, preserves, etc.”, he says.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism