Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Bravo, Lino Dossi!

Anne found this UPI story about an Italian falconer refusing to surrender his Harris' hawks under a state law banning the keeping of non-native species. The man, Lino Dossie of Trento province, is quoted as saying: "I'm too attached to my falcons [sic] and I won't give them to anyone, no matter what they do to me. I'd rather set them free even if they arrest me for it."

Bravo Lino! Libertà o morte!

...Knowing something about falconers and something about wildlife bureaucracy, I suspect there might be more to this story than one man's heroic stand in defense of beloved birds. For example, the story suggests the man had previously surrendered an eagle to local authorities and that he had failed to file an available exemption for his current hawks. Maybe he's just another wingnut in our weird little flock of falconers. I sent a note to my pen pal in Italy to see if she knows the story.

But allow me for a while to imagine this man, a native son of mountainous, semi-autonomous Trento, having developed over eight years a complex relationship with his cast of Harris' hawks, hunting hares and maybe partridge along the steep slopes and small valleys of his home region, perhaps with a Visla of local breeding who was raised with these hawks and now nears her own retirement, reading the blandly-written order of cease-and-desist signed by a minor functionary in some florescent government hive in remotest Rome.

"You are non-compliant," the letter might claim, "with line 3750.13B of the Italian Code of Wildlife Regulation. You must surrender the 2 raptors of the HARRIS specie immediately to regional authorities at ___________________"

Did Lino, enraged, rip the letter to shreds in his living room? Did he call his brother-in-law, Antonio, the local news anchor to come at once and interview him as he flew his contraband hawks over the only country they have ever known? Did he yell indecipherable Trentin curses into the camera, sending a barrage of indignation south to the seat of the empire?

I hope so.


Gregg Barrow said...

.....did he summon El Padrino to negotiate for him?


Matt Mullenix said...

Perhaps. Yes, perhaps...