Recent changes in hunting laws have sought to curtail the rights of hunters. The change in legislation results from a new decree law 2002/2004 that was passed on August 18 and came into effect on September 1. Hunting is no longer permissible within 500 metres (as opposed to the previous distance of 250 metres) of the following locations: beaches, schools, hospitals, prisons, orphanages, retirement homes, military installations, nursing homes, electric facilities, lighthouses, river harbours, airports, tourist complexes, industrial complexes, camp sites, sports halls, industrial complexes and animal shelters.
Other changes, that The Resident has learned of from AFPOP, concern certificates and insurance, particularly the fact that hunters have to take out public liability insurance of up to 100,000 euros. Hunting days are now Sundays, public holidays and a third day which is defined by each câmara. There is one other notable change – hunters can only hunt until they are 60-years-old (the previous age limit was 65).
Meanwhile, in a separate development, the Associação de Armeiros de Portugal (AAP – Association of Portuguese Gunsmiths) has denounced what it describes as ‘the chaotic and unsustainable situation’ relating to the securing of licences for hunting arms. In some cases, there has been a delay of four or five months in issuing licences, for which they blame the police. The association says that ‘thousands of hunters’ were without proper licences on the eve of the new hunting season, which started recently, and resulted in three injuries on the first day. Ana Ferreira, director of AAP, did not know precisely the exact number of new or renewable licences pending, but estimates it could be in the thousands. It is apparently up to the PSP to decide the attribution or renewal of licences. The National Director of the PSP, via its public relations office, conceded “there was a delay due to the quantity of requests for new and renewable licences”.