The Dutch Government has proposed a bill reducing the number of regulations, prohibitions and licences that currently protect Dutch wildlife and the environment.

The idea of the bill is to transfer responsibility for environmental protection from the Government to landowners and the public at large. Deputy economic affairs and agriculture minister Henk Bleker, who championed the bill, said: ?Why must The Hague licence or ban everything? If people have a nice bit of nature in their area, won?t they do everything to protect it and make sure it stays nice??

The minister wants to abolish the strict laws protecting 150 types of flora and fauna in the Netherlands. The bill will lift protection on certain species and double the number of animals that can be shot, including wild boar, red, and fallow deer on the grounds that none of these animals is endangered and they all do significant damage to crops and other species. The decision was prompted by a need for drastic cuts to subsidies. Mr Bleker has already slashed the nature conservation budget and is proposing increasing ?free-market processes in nature conservancy.?

The rest of this article appears in the 14th December issue of Shooting Times.

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