Celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, FeHoVa has been characterized by a constant growth and ever- increasing public interest. The most significant hunting, arms and fishing event of originally Hungary and now the entire Eastern Central European region attracted 55 thousand visitors to see 310 exhibitors from 18 countries. Beside the current issues of hunting, game management and fishing, the participants of the event’s attached professional programmes discussed the things to do concerning the preparation for the upcoming World Hunting and Nature Expo to be held in Budapest.
The exhibitors of the jubilee FeHoVa had a 30-thousand square metre area to showcase the latest fishing and hunting equipment and methods. On this round anniversary, exhibitors displayed even more sophisticated stands and higher quality portfolios than usual. Just like before, the exhibition was hosted by HUNGEXPO Budapest Fair Center’s two largest Pavilions “A” and “G” but further development projects are to begin next year partly due to the increased interest in hunting and fishing.
At the opening ceremony, Deputy Prime Minister Zsolt Semjén said the government was going to do its best so that Budapest could once again organize a grand and successful World Hunting and Nature Expo in 2021 – after 50 years. In his speech, the politician also noted that the measures taken in recent years had laid the professional and financial foundations as well as the necessary legal framework for the future of game management. Talking about the achievements of the past years, he emphasized that the elimination of redundant bureaucratic procedures had made Hungary’s firearms act more simple; no motion, draft legislation or resolution was going to be put on the Parliament’s agenda without the prior approval of professional organizations.
Minister of Agriculture Sándor Fazekas said that the forest areas of state-owned forestry holdings had increased by over 7 thousand hectares in recent years. He added that the past two government terms had seen the renovation of 160 places of accommodation, thus improving the accessibility of forests. Lookout towers, visitor centres, canopy paths were also built with a capacity for 80 thousand children in 12 thousand forest education classes to enjoy forest experience each year.
The exhibition’s professional programmes featured the outstanding conference on the “Current affairs of game management”, organized by the Hungarian Chamber of Agriculture. Reflecting on the most pressing issues, the presenters discussed Hungarian animal health measures related to African swine fever as well as the methods of assessing damages to forest wildlife. The list of conference presenters included Deputy Speaker of Parliament István Jakab, Chairman of the Hungarian Chamber of Agriculture Balázs Győrffy, MoA State Secretary in charge of state-owned lands Dr. Márton Örs Bitay, Chairman of the Hungarian National Chamber of Hunters Dr. László Jámbor, Director of SZIU Institute for Wildlife Conservation Prof. Dr. Sándor Csányi and National Food Chain Safety Office Vice Chairman Dr. Imre Nemes. The trophy evaluation demonstration of the International Council for Game and Wildlife Conservation (CIC) also attracted great interest.
In addition to its traditional programmes, the jubilee FeHoVa offered several novelties for visitors. Many people saw the exhibition called “The Secrets of Vajdahunyad Castle” showcasing the museum’s hidden treasures as well as the display titled “The Hunting Lodge of My Dreams” presenting the trophy collection of Prince Windisch-Grätz, a friend of the great Hungarian hunter Zsigmond Széchenyi. Organized by STIHL for the first time in Hungexpo’s facility, the professional woodcutting competition and demonstration was a huge success.
Such traditional FeHoVa events as the 7th International Troating FeHoVa Cup, the hunting horn festival, many trophy displays as well as bird and dog shows were also popular this year. Visitors could once again meet World and European Champion anglers, who gave demonstrations on stage, at the spin fishing pool and the gigantic aquarium.
The exhibition’s guest of honour was Romania this year. Hungary’s eastern neighbour presented its hunting and trekking areas and award-winning trophies with great success.
In Pavilion “G”, many visitors were interested in the photo exhibition showcasing the best images selected from the FeHoVa Jubilee Fishing Competition. The results of the fishing competition launched at FeHoVa 2017 were also announced here. The main attraction of the fishing pavilion was the “Demonstration of Giants”. The now traditional gigantic aquarium displayed several giant carps and a record-large 60-kilogram and 2-metre catfish which is 25 years old, just like the exhibition itself.
The Prime Minister’s special commissioner for strategic social relations Zsolt Nyitrai made a very important announcement for anglers. The government invites all anglers to submit their opinions on angling and angling-related ideas and proposals via an online questionnaire. The commissioner also talked about the achievements made in cooperation with the 400-thousand-strong Hungarian National Fishing Association (MOHOSZ). Among these achievements, he noted the new fisheries management act and added that the joint effort and idea sharing laid the foundations for continuing the dialogue.
The organizers had children in mind, too: MOHOSZ and Lake Tisza Fishing School gave an opportunity for the youngest visitors to get an insight into the joys of fishing.
The exhibition also featured several pet and bird demonstrations. One of the most significant ones was FeHoVa Winter Dog Show organized by the Hungarian Kennel Club Association (MEOESZ). The four-day event comprised several competitions and a CACIB show each day, which attracted thousands of visitors.
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