The ministry’s statement came in response to an appeal issued by the Let Them Live coalition of environmental and animal rights organisations. The alliance said the hunting season that has begun is a threat to 13 species of birds in the country.
The ministry said a hunting ban is unjustified. It said that hunting is in line with national and European laws, and that hunting is, according to Polish regulations, part of environmental protection and serves to safeguard hunting animals and manage their resources in accordance with the principles of ecology and rational management of agriculture, forestry and fisheries, PAP reported.
The ministry added that game birds cause damage to farmlands.
The aim of the Let Them Live coalition's campaign, which has been running for eight years, is an indefinite ban on hunting for various species of birds including graylag geese, pheasants, coots, partridges and ducks.
Tomasz Zdrojewski, the coordinator of the coalition, said: "According to scientists, the number of game birds is on the decline [in Poland].”
He added: “For example, the population of the common pochard has decreased by 75 percent over the last 30 years, and the species was included in the red book of endangered species of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).”
According to data from the Polish Hunting Association Research Station in Czempiń, hunters killed a total of about 177,000 birds in the 2017/18 hunting season.