Italian Police Stop Bear Banquet (VIDEO)

Italian police did (if you ask me) did the right think in breaking up a banquet of bear meat hosted by the Northern League, a coalition partner of prime minister Silvio Berlusconi. Bear hunting is banned in Italy and bears are almost extinct there. There are now about 35 brown bears in the Dolomites in northern Italy, after ten bears were reintroduced there in the past decade.

However, as the Guardian says,the bears are not universally welcomed.

…instead of celebrating their return, some locals have complained that the bears are attacking chickens and sheep. Claims made for lost livestock rose to ¤100,000 (£90,000) last year, and farmers were fed up, said Maurizio Fugatti, an MP for the devolutionist and anti-immigrant Northern League.

Hence the banquet, which, said Fugatti, had been planned to “send a clear signal to citizens who have the right to reconquer their territory and freely circulate”.

To protect locals from marauding bears, he added, “we prefer to eat them like this.”

…”The idea was to attract attention to a bear repopulation plan which has got out of hand, resulting in locals being followed by bears through woods normally frequented by families. Even if the banquet doesn’t happen, we have made our point,” he went on.

The bear meat for the banquet was imported from Slovenia, where it is legal to hunt bears. Food safety officers from Italy’s paramilitary carabinieri police broke up the banquet of grilled and stewed bear meat that was being served to about 200 people at a rally in Imer, in the northern Dolomites; the officers cited a lack of import documentation for the 50kg of bear meat.

Enzo Erminio Boso, a former League senator, is accusing the raid on members of Berlusconi’s People of Liberty. A number of members of Berlusconi’s cabinet had criticized the bear banquet: Foreign minister Franco Frattini and tourism minister Michela Vittoria Brambilla had referred to it as “a scandalous initiative”, and environment minister Stefania Prestigiacomo said it was simple “barbarous.” Further,

In his blog, Frattini said the banquet was particularly offensive since Italian bears were “almost extinct and we are trying with great effort to bring them back to the mountains that have hosted them for centuries”.

The Anti-Vivisection League (Lega Anti Vivisezione) described the bear feast as “aberrant behavior” and also “a punishable offense and absolutely illegal,” says La Repubblica.

There are numerous references to bears in Latin literature by the ancient Romans, references that always confuse my students. Bears (like the ones that appear from time to time out of the New Jersey woods to eat out of garbage cans and dumpsters) are quite foreign to their image of modern Italy — something that the effort to reintroduce bears to the Dolomites is (against some tough local sentiments, it seems) trying to change.

Here is a video of the disrupted bear meat banquet.

Related Care2 Coverage

Italy’s Rare Bear in Losing Battle Against Extinction

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UPDATE: Orphaned Grizzly Bear Cubs Rescued In Canada

Photo by ScriS –


Marco Galli
Marco Galli6 years ago

I do not thank carabinieri too Italians, many Italian families are afraid to let go out at night, their kids with friends: The carabinieri have a habit of stopping young boys, offend them, threaten them with machine guns and if find a very little marijuana "0.02 to 0.03 grams on the seats or on car's mats", they denounces and seizes their driving license.
For a slightly higher amount, 1 to 3 grams of marijuana, less than an ounce, they are arrested, often beaten and jailed for months on awaiting trial.
In the U.S., the detainees are 726, every 100,000 inhabitants.
In Italy the detainees are 1000 - 1200, every 100,000 inhabitants
Currently in prison, there are 50,000 to 70,000 people and many of these are the sons of someone like us, went out one evening to smoke a joint with friends.

Marco Galli
Marco Galli6 years ago

These, of Lega Nord just seem emerged from caverns, along with Berlusconi, they are the worst disease of Italy, are a continuing affront to our country and to democracy: Their policy is the contempt for foreigners, the denial of human rights and to national unity.
Constantly threaten the secession, the tax revolt and civil war.
I am not surprised that make banquets of meat of a bear, I surprising more, "these troglodytes, cook the meat"?!.
One of the most popular dishes in those places, is the "polenta e osei," a dish of polenta and a sauce made with hundreds of small birds, captured with nets or snares from some criminals poachers.
This dish is very banned in Italy, but they pay enormous sums to meet what they consider as a Padania's tradition.
Fortunately these crazies are losing their power in northern Italy, with their alliance with Berlusconi, they have made ​​it clear to their voters, what are their real interests, power and enrichment.

Tricia Hamilton
Tricia Hamilton6 years ago

It is so sad that people would eat anything they could get their hands on. Why don't they spend their money on vegetables, cheeses, fruits?

Joy Jin
Joy Jin6 years ago

Good for them :)

KrassiAWAY B.
Krasimira B6 years ago

Bravo to the Italian police!

Katherine W.
Katherine Wright6 years ago

Marieanne, how true.

Humans truly can be very arrogant, greedy and indifferent to other species. We are not the progressive, civilized, superior species we think we are.

Marieanne Phillips

Humans should stop being so arrogant and start learning to respect animals have a right to live on this earth. Who do we think we are.

Suzanne Hall
Suzanne Hall6 years ago

Glad this was stopped, but they got the meat somewhere, so some bear had to die. What a shame.

barbara c.
barbara camici6 years ago

I really feel bad because I'm italian. I'm vegetarian, of course, and it's really a shame to hear such a bad news.

Steven B.
Steven Bryant6 years ago

The animals, wild and pets have been in this earth longer, it is us who are trespassing, stealing their food, shelter and land.