Europe

Environmentalists protest hunting bison plan in Poland

FILE - In this March 16, 2010 file photo bison are pictured at a reserve in the Bialowieza forest, in Bialowieza, eastern Poland. Environmentalists are protesting plans by the authorities to allow hunters to kill 10 bison in the Borecka forest saying the protected animals should be allowed to die of natural causes. Greenpeace had gathered well over 7,000 signatures by Monday afternoon, Jan. 2, 2017, on a letter asking Prime Minister Beata Szydlo to stop the plan. (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski, file)

FILE - In this March 16, 2010 file photo bison are pictured at a reserve in the Bialowieza forest, in Bialowieza, eastern Poland. Environmentalists are protesting plans by the authorities to allow hunters to kill 10 bison in the Borecka forest saying the protected animals should be allowed to die of natural causes. Greenpeace had gathered well over 7,000 signatures by Monday afternoon, Jan. 2, 2017, on a letter asking Prime Minister Beata Szydlo to stop the plan. (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski, file)  (The Associated Press)

Environmentalists are protesting Poland's plan to allow hunters to shoot bison, while authorities say it is necessary for the well-being of the herd and will earn money for its upkeep.

Greenpeace had gathered well over 7,000 signatures by Monday afternoon on a letter asking Prime Minister Beata Szydlo to stop the plan. They say Europe's largest mammals, which live in old-growth forests in northeastern Poland, are protected by law and a symbol of Poland's nature.

Environment authorities have allowed the hunting of 10 bison in the Borecka forest, saying the herd there is too large and threatened with tuberculosis. They say limited hunting allows for a controlled elimination of weak animals, while earning funds to support the others.