Shocking news from Italy this week. “Thirteen Italians die in bloody start to the hunt season,” screamed a Reuters wire headline.
Seems Italian hunters have killed 13 and wounded 33 since the season opened in September, the Monday report said. Over the weekend, a 16-year-old was killed by a friend while hunting, “a pensioner” was wounded while he was out in his garden and a cyclist was wounded by grapeshot.
This has folks calling for changes to Italian laws, which permit hunting on private land and allows them to shoot “within 150 yards of a house.”
Hunters — there are about 700,000, down from 3 million a few decades ago — and environmentalists agree on the need to change the laws, the wire service reported, but they’ve been in a long-running dispute as to precisely how to do so.
Others are calling for an outright ban on hunting in a country where, according to a survey last year, fewer than one in five people think hunting is “an acceptable pastime.” Most Italian hunters are over 65. (To save you time, yes, that’s how old Dick Cheney was when he shot his friend back in 2006.)
Hunters say hunting is needed to control some animal populations, such as the cinghiale or wild boar, a nasty — albeit tasty — character who can be harmful to crops. Hunters also shoot deer, rabbits and birds.