Hunting association

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Memorial stone of the Radensdorf Hunting Association, a district of Lübben (Spreewald)

In Germany, hunting cooperatives are public corporations . They arise by virtue of the law, without the need for a resolution or any other act.

Members of a hunting association, so-called hunting companions, are the owners of the areas of a community that belong to a communal hunting district . A communal hunting district includes all areas of a municipality that do not belong to a private hunting district and in connection comprise a certain minimum area dependent on state law (minimum area of ​​150  hectares , or 250 hectares in Bavaria and Lower Saxony). Huntable areas are recorded in the hunting cadastre .


The hunting association hunts on its own or leases the hunting rights of its communal hunting district to a hunting license holder ( Section 11 BJagdG ). The relationship between the hunting association and the tenant is regulated in the hunting lease . So z. B. the liability of the hunting association for game damage is usually transferred to the lessee. The liability of the hunting association is then only subsidiary . The hunting association makes decisions based on the principle of a double majority : there must be a majority of both the votes cast and the area behind the votes. The income from the lease is allocated to the hunting companions according to the respective property area: one speaks of a return claim of the hunting companions against the hunting association.

Influence of European legislation

On December 13, 2006, the Federal Constitutional Court ruled that compulsory membership in hunting associations is constitutional. On June 26, 2012, the European Court of Human Rights qualified this decision. The ECHR found that the obligation to tolerate hunting on one's own property was a disproportionate burden on property owners who oppose hunting for ethical reasons. If the district system is retained, each application for pacification must be decided individually by a court. In response to the ruling, Section 6 BJagdG was amended accordingly on December 6, 2013. The conditions for pacifying areas are set very high therein.

About history

Until 1848, the respective sovereign was entitled to hunting as a hunting rack . With the exception of Mecklenburg-Schwerin and Mecklenburg-Strelitz, the German states revoked these rights in the wake of the revolution of 1848/49 . Hunting was only possible on their own land. Due to the unregulated hunting practice , which was now possible for everyone on their property, it was feared that there would be a rapid decline in game populations, as neither minimum sizes nor closed seasons regulated hunting. Ernst Schlotfeldt wrote in the Deutsche Jägerzeitung in 1884 that free hunting must result in complete destruction of the game in a short period of time, no proof is required .

How strong this reduction actually was is difficult to understand from today's perspective. It is certain that the presumably excessive game populations of feudal hunting were reduced and that there was also a decline in the population of an undetermined extent. The German states therefore passed laws in the 1850s that separated the landowner's right to hunt and the right to hunt, and which granted the right to hunt to either the municipalities or the community of landowners. In addition, with the Hunting Police Act of 1850, the minimum size for hunting on one's own property was set at 300 acres (approx. 75 hectares), which has remained the minimum size to this day. Through these regulations, hunting was regulated uniformly across the empire for the first time and was later incorporated into the Reichsjagdgesetz and today's Federal Hunting Act .

These state regulations on the so-called district system were unified in the Reichsjagdgesetz of July 3, 1934, which the American occupation forces repealed for their zone in 1948. In its place came the Federal Hunting Act in the FRG, which came into force on April 1, 1953 and which has established the hunting district system for all of Germany to this day.

Consequences of the judgment of the European Court of Human Rights on June 26, 2012

The ruling of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) essentially states that the personal freedom of conscience of the landowner is not given enough consideration when it comes to compulsory membership in the hunting association. It does not question the territory system in general. Numerous questions need to be clarified, such as the compensation for the remaining hunting companions if the game - think of a pack of wild boars - finds shelter in a pacified and thus unhunted area and from there causes damage in the surrounding fields. The judgment affirms the freedom of conscience of the individual landowner, but in no way excludes his liability for the consequences of a personal decision. Another question to be clarified is that of the game sequence prescribed by the Animal Welfare Act , i. H. the pursuit and killing of game that has been shot or seriously ill in a foreign hunting ground.

The judgment is available in German. An amendment to the BJagdG has been in place since December 6, 2013.


  • Peter Scholz: Hunting cooperative and hunting law in Germany and neighboring European countries . Shaker Verlag, Aachen 1996, ISBN 3-8265-5439-6 (also dissertation, University of Passau 1990).
  • Gustav Mitzschke, Karl Schäfer: Commentary on the Federal Hunting Law . 4th edition Parey Verlag, Hamburg 1982, ISBN 3-490-12512-6 .
  • S. Peck (edit.): Hunting Police Act of March 7, 1850. With remarks and special consideration of the restored closed seasons for the Mark . Berlin 1850.
  • Hubertus Hiller: Hunter and Hunt. On the development of hunting in Germany between 1848 and 1914 (Kiel studies on folklore and cultural history; Vol. 2). Waxmann Verlag, Münster 2003, ISBN 3-8309-1196-3 (plus dissertation, University of Kiel 2000).
  • Sailer, in: Journal for Legal Policy 2005, 88 ff.
  • ders., in: Natur und Recht 2006, 271 ff.
  • Alleweldt, in: Peine / Wolff (eds.), Thinking about property, 2011, p. 107 ff.
  • Müller-Schallenberg and Förster, in: Journal for Legal Policy 2005, 230 ff.
  • Ziebarth, refusal to tolerate hunting for reasons of conscience, in: Natur und Recht 2012, 693 ff.

Individual evidence

  1. Lower Saxony Hunting Law (NJagdG)
  2. BVerfG, decision of December 13, 2006, Az. 1 BvR 2084/05, full text .
  3. ECHR of June 26, 2012, Az. 9300/07, full text .
  4. Federal Hunting Act changed ( Memento of the original dated June 4, 2016 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. .  @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  5. BJagdG on
  6. ^ Ernst Schlotfeldt: On hunting law . In: Deutsche Jägerzeitung , Vol. 2 (1884), p. 302, ISSN  0012-0324
  7. Hunting Police Act of March 7, 1850 , Section 3.
  8. cf. on the whole in detail Peter Scholz: Hunting cooperative and hunting law in Germany and neighboring European countries , p. 23 ff .; Gustav Mitzschke, Karl Schäfer: Commentary on the Federal Hunting Law , Introduction, Rn. 2 ff .; Mark G. von Pückler: Agrarrecht , 2001, p. 72 f.
  9. ECHR of June 26, 2012, Az. 9300/07, German full text .
  10. § 6 BJagdG at