Dutch royal family prio­ri­tises its own hunting lobby over democracy

19 October 2018

The majority of the Dutch Lower House wants the Royal Estate Het Loo to be open to the public all year round. But the Dutch royal family refuses to cooperate because they want to continue hunting there without being interrupted.

Each year, Het Loo Crown Estate is closed to the public for three months, from 15 September to 24 December. During that period the members of the Dutch royal family are hunting there for boars and deer. For years, the Dutch Party for the Animals has been making efforts to have the estate open to the public all year round, also because the Dutch Queen Wilhelmina gave the wooded area and heathland to the Dutch population in 1959 and the public is paying for its maintenance.

In April of this year, the party again suggested to have the estate open to the public all year round, and this time it was backed up by a parliamentary majority. But Minister Carola Schouten (Nature Management) informed us that the proposal cannot be carried out. According to her, managing the Crown Estate is up to the King and he can do so at his own discretion.

According to the Party for the Animals there is no support from a social perspective for the pleasure killing of animals, and the hunting lobby of the Royal House should no longer – directly or indirectly – be facilitated with public funds. Dutch citizens now voluntarily pay for the hunting activities of the royal family.

“Crown Estate Het Loo is one of the most beautiful nature areas of our country. We find it unacceptable that public property is inaccessible to hikers and nature lovers for more than three months of the year, merely to keep the hunting privileges of a small group of royal hunters and their guests out of the public view”, according to the Party for the Animals.