Poland Broke Law by Logging in Pristine Forest — Top EU Court

Białowieża forest

Białowieża forest

The European Court of Justice today ruled that Poland breached EU law when it made a decision to increase logging rates in parts of the protected Białowieża forest.

Poland had argued that felling the trees was necessary to fight the spread of bark beetle infestation.

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The government claims that the forest was bring protected from a spruce beetle outbreak were dismissed by European court of justice judges, who said that Poland's own forest management plans showed that logging posed a greater threat to Białowieża's integrity.

Environmentalists say the large-scale felling of trees in Bialowieza was destroying rare animal habitats and plants, in violation of regulations.

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The EU's highest court has ruled that Poland's logging of the ancient Białowieża forest is illegal, potentially opening the door to multi-million euro fines.

The court previous year also ordered an injunction, aimed at stopping logging while the case was being decided and threatened Warsaw with fines if it failed to obey. Warsaw has said it will respect the European Union court's ruling.

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