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Conservation and management of the Polish (Carpathian) population

The brown bear is under strict protection in Poland since 1952. Currently, the species and its habitat are protected by the international and national laws and agreements listed below that have been ratified by Poland.

International legislation

The brown bear is subject to protection by numerous international legal acts and regulations, which we present below:

                  - Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES, 1963): brown bear in Annex II, potentially endangered species,

      - Bern Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitat (1979): brown bear in Annex II, strictly protected species (and its habitat),

      - Convention on Biological Diversity on the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity (1992),

      - Council Directive 92/43/EEC on the conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora (Habitats Directive, 1992): brown bear in Annex II (priority species), species of Community interest whose conservation requires the designation of special areas of conservation (Natura 2000 sites) and Annex IV, species of Community interest in need of strict protection (classified as a priority species),

      - European Community (EC) Regulation No. 338/97 of 9 December on the protection of species of wild fauna and flora by regulating trade,

      - Carpathian Convention on the protection and sustainable development of the Carpathians (2003).

Other related European legislation:

-        Directive 2004/35/CE of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 April 2004 on environmental liability with regard to the prevention and remedying of environmental damage.

-        Council Directive 1999/22/EC of 29 March 1999 relating to the keeping of wild animals in zoos.

National legislation

The brown bear in Poland is subject to strict protection, on the basis of the Regulation of the Minister of Environment dated 16 December 2016 on the species of wild animals under protection issued under the Nature Conservation Act of 16 April 2004.

The penal provisions for crimes and offenses against protected species are described in chapter 11 of the Nature Conservation Act of 16 April 2004. The crimes against the environment are also determined in chapter 22 of the Act of June 6, 1997 Criminal Code.

The brown bear is included in the list of species affected by the Regulation of the Minister of Environment of 3 August 2011 on animal species dangerous to human life and health.

The Nature Conservation Act envisages the need for biodiversity monitoring (Article 112). The Chief Inspectorate of Environmental Protection is responsible for the national monitoring program of species and habitats, with special focus on Natura 2000 sites.

Compensation of damages caused by brown bears

All damages caused by bears are covered by the State Treasury. The procedures for damage inspection and compensation are led by the Regional Directorates for Environmental Protection and, inside national parks, by the park directors (Nature Conservation Act, Civil Code).

Research and experiments on animals

The rules for the research and experiments on the protected species, i.e. brown bear are regulated, among others, by the Act of 21 January 2005 on experiments on animals and the Regulation of the Minister of Science of 29 July 2005 on individual competences for carrying experiments on animals. The principles for marking animals are regulated by the Resolution No. 8/2006 of the National Ethical Committee for experiments on animals.

Provisions regulating the trade and commercial use (including registration) are included in the Nature Conservation Act of 16 April 2004 and refer to alive animals as well as to specimens in collections. The managing authority in this case is the Minister of Environment and the advisory body is the State Council for Nature Conservation.

Other related provisions:

-        Act of 21 August 1997 on animal protection.

-        Act of 13 April 2007 on the prevention and remediation of damages to the environment.

-        Keeping captive bears: Nature Conservation Act of 16 April 2004, Regulation of the Minister of Environment of 20 December 2004 on the conditions for breeding and keeping certain species of animals in zoos and Regulation of the Minister of Environment of 20 January 2004 on the minimum conditions for the maintenance of species in captivity.

-        Regulations for using special weapons during brown bear interventions: Act of 21 May 1999 on firearms and ammunition.

-        Veterinary provisions: Act of 11 March 2004 on the protection of animal health and control of animal infectious diseases, Act of 27 April 2001 on waste disposal.