Thousands of hunters and land workers from all over the country descended on Madrid last Saturday, bringing with them their dogs, hawks, guns and tractors, to demand changes in the Natural Heritage Law, which they claim will not achieve its objective of protecting the countryside and the environment. The president of the Spanish Hunt Federation, Andrés Gutiérrez, said: “We are the true conservationists, we are going to defend traditional hunting and we do not want to depend on ecological Talebans.” The president of the International Hunt Council, Austrian Dieter Schramm, said: “There is no better remedy for the countryside than hunting.” He said some 50 million hunters around the world were supporting the Spanish hunters, who claim that hunting is the most effective culling method. However, the clause in the new law which arouses most anger is the one banning the use of lead in bullets and cartridges. The hunters have accused Environment Minister Cristina Narbona of “legislating against them” and have called for her resignation. The president of Young Land Workers (Asaja), Pedro Barato, said Ms Narbona law should be thrown “into a rubbish container”. He asked: “Does she know how to prune an oak tree better than the people in the campo?”


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