ALIVE ALIVE SiteMapContactALIVE Japanese site
 HOME > Wild Life > Public comments> Revised Wildlife Protection Law Help? (2011)
about ALIVE
Wild Life
Zoo Check
Companion Animals
Factory Farming
Animal testing
News from Japan

All Life In a Viable Environment

5-18-10-102, Honkomagome, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo, 113-0021

Anti Vivisection Action Network




Will the Revised Wildlife Protection and Proper Hunting Act Promote Better Nuisance Wildlife Control?

Nouisance Wildlife Control Measures

ALIVE has recently been deluged with a growing number of letters voicing considerable concern over what is perceived as a far too aggressive approach to nuisance wildlife control measures. Wild boar, deer and raccoons are the main targets of culling and they are commonly caught in traps set by the owners of land that is damaged by the animals. Landowners are allowed to set traps anywhere on their land without the need to obtain a hunting license.The use of traps and hunting are regulated under the Wildlife Protection and Proper Hunting Act and the Ministry of Environment has jurisdiction over this act. The Ministry has set out a basic guideline for measures relating to the act. The basic guideline is scheduled to be revised every 5 years, and prefectural and city governments will decide their project plans in line with the revisions.

On March 2011, public comments on the present revision of the basic guideline were solicited. ALIVE responded by submitting a number of opinions but most of them were not included in the revision plan.

Ban on Keeping Wild Birds as Pets

The only achievement stemming from the present revision is that people are now prohibited from keeping wild birds as pet animals.

Nobody Overlooks Traps

Leg-hold traps are banned for hunting purposes. However, their use is permitted for wildlife nuisance control (licensed hunting). For this reason, members of the general public are still allowed to purchase leg-hold traps on the internet or mail magazine shops.

The Government is gradually deregulating the restrictions placed on the use of traps in order to protect crops and farmers from wild animals. People without a hunting license can still use a trap, provided that there is someone who can instruct them on how to use and set it. Landowners without a license also can set traps on their own land. The trap regulations make exceptions in the above cases.
It is true that wild animals are causing an increasing amount of crop damage. However, before resorting to capturing and culling them, it is necessary to think of other solutions. Individual farmers and growers may be able to come up with original methods for protecting their own land or crops. Electric fences are certainly expensive, but is it acceptable to kill wild animals merely because this is the most cost effective solution?

The Ministry of Environment has jurisdiction over the Wildlife Protection and Proper Hunting Act, which was originally enacted as a hunting law. This law was originally intended to control the hunting and culling wild animals. However, drawing up wildlife protection plans always involves experts who are knowledgeable about and experienced with wildlife and ecosystems. These experts should be able to come up with measures for protecting crops from wildlife damage, and the law should specify which measures can or should be taken. The inclusion of such measures in the Wildlife Protection and Proper Hunting Act would allow the Government, local administration offices and the local farmers to employ such measures more effectively. The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries is not responsible for wildlife management, however for some reason this ministry has budget of 100 billion yen for nuisance wildlife control measures.

ALIVE believes there should a new law, which would allow both measures to protect and control of wildlife and measures to prevent crop damage to be implemented cooperatively. The current law cannot respond to the changing times and is also a reflection of the poor animal control system that stems from Japan’s vertically segmented administrative system. A consequence of this system is that countless animals are killed without any effort being made toward their protection.