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Night vision guns pushed for culling Swiss boar

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Night vision guns pushed for culling Swiss boar
Photo: Richard Bartz
12:38 CEST+02:00
A debate is under way among hunters and animal rights groups in Switzerland over the controversial use of night vision guns to shoot wild boar.

Such paramilitary equipment is already allowed for wildlife hunting in the cantons of Geneva, Basel Country and Thurgau.

But some hunters believe they should be banned for ethical reasons, Swiss media are reporting.

Night sighting devices allow for precise shooting in the dark.

The population of wild boar has been reportedly rising in Switzerland, resulting in extensive damage to agricultural crops in many parts of the country.

But traditional hunters believe using night vision devices is unsporting and could open the door to the use of other military weapons on wildlife.

Using prohibited military equipment on wildlife is “not good for the image” of hunting, federal hunting inspector Reinhard Schnidrig told Neue Zürcher Zeitung.

Night vision guns were designed as weapons and remain regulated under the Swiss arms act, Schnidrig said.

Christian Jacques, president of Jagd Zürich, a Zurich hunting group, said improving the efficiency of hunters to reduce the “inventory” of wild nuisance animals does not justify the means, Blick reported online.

“Hunters are not a form of pest control,” he added.

But the use of night vision guns has gained support from Swiss animal protection groups and some hunters who say it is more humane.

“Hunters do better and the animal has to suffer less,” Thurgau hunting administrator Roman Kistler told SRF Radio.

Proponents note that technology has already changed hunting in other ways, with gun scopes, controversial 20 or 30 years ago, now wildly accepted.

In the canton of Zurich, parliament in March voted to approve the use of night vision equipment for hunting, while a move is afoot to also legalize it in the canton of Saint Gallen.
 

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