Special Exposition

27/08/1971 - 30/09/1971

The Hunt through the World

Official Designation
Exhibition World of Hunting, Budapest 1971

Area (ha)




Recognised by the 63rd General Assembly of the BIE on 9 May 1968, Expo 1971 in Budapest was the first World Hunting Exhibition to be organised under the auspices of the BIE. It was also the first BIE-recognised International Expo to be held in the Eastern Bloc.

The Expo took place in the Budapest Exhibition Area, which had previously hosted several agricultural fairs.

Hunting as a tradition

The organisation of a World Hunting Exhibition reflected Hungary’s long tradition of hunting and its attachment to its founding legend, with the ‘Wonderhart’ stag being a national symbol. The Expo was a sign of the revival of this hunting tradition, but it also focused on the relationship between man and nature. As such, Expo 1971 put an emphasis on conservation and game farming. Organisers also sought point to the the economic importance of hunting and fishing as well as the connection between hunting and tourism.

The Expo aimed to promote Hungary’s hunting reputation on a global scale and to endorse sustainable hunting as a tool for conservation. Two slogans were promoted at the Expo: “Nature conservation is a conservation of ourselves”, and “Peace, friendship, nature, health, recreation and sport.”

Accomplishments and competitions

The site of the Expo, which was divided by outdoor and indoor exhibits, included 35 national pavilions from participating countries covering a total of 30,000m2. In total, 52 countries were represented at the Expo, showcasing national accomplishments in hunting and fishing, and contributing to the debate on environmental issues.

The outdoor part of the site, which covered 60,000m2, was used for horse and dog shows, as well as for fishing and shooting competitions.

The Expo marked a turning point in the recognition and evaluation of hunting trophies. In 1952, the International Council for Game and Wildlife Conservation (CIC) adopted a new set of internationally recognised and objective rules for measuring and evaluating hunting trophies, and these were implemented for the very first time at Expo 1971 in Budapest. During the course of the Expo, several hundred trophies were appraised by an international scoring committee.

Wildlife management

The Wildlife Film Festival was also held during the Expo. Additionally, several scientific symposiums were organised. These led to the signing of many international treaties, agreements and conventions on wildlife management and conservation.

During the course of the Expo, several parallel hunting and fishing fairs were organised in different regions of Hungary.


Expo 1971 was a major event for Hungary, attracting almost 2 million visitors of which 200,000 came from abroad. Taking place in the midst of the Cold War, the Expo succeeded in attracting participants from four continents and across political divides, with high profile visitors including Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev and Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh.

The CIC’s new international measuring system was used for the first time at the Expo, and this system of appraisal remains the standard to this day.

Hungary’s link to the world of hunting was reinforced in 1999 when the CIC moved its headquarters to Hungary.