SEOUL, Sept. 25 (Korea Bizwire) – Across South Korea, local government authorities are debating whether to allow hunting this year. Some residents think it’s a good idea to have hunting grounds to control the population of harmful wildlife. However, the police disagree because they worry it might make public safety worse.
On Jeju Island, a fierce debate is underway. A meeting of various organizations and agencies was recently held to talk about whether hunting grounds should be opened in the province. The meeting included law enforcement agencies, the National Hunters’ Participation Alliance, the Wildlife Management Association, and village leaders.
At the meeting, officials from law enforcement said they don’t want the hunting grounds to open because they are concerned about recent crimes and accidents involving guns. They worry that people living near the hunting grounds might feel scared because of gunfire. They also think there’s a risk of accidental shots being fired.
A police official explained, “If we do open the hunting grounds, we need to have safety rules like limiting the number of hunters and how long they can hunt.”
On the other hand, village leaders believe that hunting should be open to control the population of harmful wild animals, like wild boars.
On Jeju, hunting grounds are usually open from November to February each year, covering a large area. The animals people can hunt include wild boar, pheasant, ducks, magpies, and crows.
Jeju Island opened hunting grounds for the first time in 1967 and continued every year until 2020 when they were closed because of diseases like African swine fever and COVID-19. The hunting grounds were reopened in 2021 following crop damage from wildlife but were closed last year because of incidents and accidents involving hunters.
A Jeju Island official said, “We know hunting is important, but we also have to think about the safety of our residents. We will make a final decision about opening the hunting grounds this year after the Chuseok holiday.
J. S. Shin (firstname.lastname@example.org)