Hunters complain environmental board is eavesdropping, interfering

Hunters. Source: Aimar Rakko/Keskkonnaamet

Üru's Hunters' Society believes the Environmental Board is eavesdropping on radio frequencies made for hunting and is distributing orders through the station. The board has carried out surveillance this way since 2009.

The group is consulting with the Technical Surveillance Authority and the Justice of Chancellor.

The board's chief inspector Liivi Plumer said firstly, they are public frequencies whose rights are owned by the Estonian Hunters' Society.

"Everyone who wants can buy a radio transmitter, add all channels and listen to what's happening on these frequencies," Plumer said.

"Secondly, we have had an agreement with the Hunters' Society since 2009. They have given their approval that the board can use and listen to these frequencies for surveillance. Neither the board of the union or the board have considered it necessary to change that agreement. It's not a secret that we are also listening to and using these hunting frequencies."

She added that surveillance is important to ensure transparent hunting.

"Our goal is to control the validity of the hunting licenses, check if hunting and weapons are used according to the requirements. We are using hunting frequencies to know whether any hunters are moving in the area and if hunting is taking place," the inspector said.

Üru's hunters did not want to specify their concerns.

Chief executive of the Hunters' Society Tõnis Korts said, usually, surveillance does not bother hunters.

"All these operations and inspections take a lot of time. We have heard the accusation from the hunting associations that daylight is so short, the hunting volumes are large enough, the time frame is small and the operations take time. This may be one of the concerns," Korts said.

Korts added that in ten years, the society has begun to place more emphasis on privacy. So maybe it is now necessary to review the agreement between the board and the society.

"It is very good that these things are reviewed from time to time and that the competent institutions give their assessment."

Korts says that to avoid misunderstandings, hunters and the board need to communicate more closely.


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Editor: Roberta Vaino

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