Tag Archives: Birds

France bans bird trap four decades after EU

France prohibits an archaic bird hunting technique four decades after the European Union ban. The country has suspended the use of glue traps, which conservationists say are especially cruel to animals and harmful the environment. The hunting technique involves coating branches with glue to trap songbirds, which are caged to attract prey birds that can then be killed.

Activists have condemned it as cruel to the animals and harmful to the environment, and such practices have been banned in all European Union countries except France, which created a workaround to allow hunters to continue to apply it bypassing the European ban.

This week, France said that it, too, was temporarily banning the practice — a move that follows mounting pressure from conservationists, a complaint to the European Court of Justice, and a threat from the European Union’s executive body in July that the country faced legal action if the glue traps were not banned within three months.

French environment minister, Barbara Pompili, described it “good news for the law and for biodiversity.” And Christophe Baticle, an anthropologist at the University of Picardy Jules Verne in northern France, named the move “symbolic.”

The suspension, issued by President Emmanuel Macron affects a minority of French hunters and applies only to the coming hunting season, pending a final decision from the European Court of Justice. And most people in the country disapprove of hunting, considering it cruel and outdated.

However the hunting lobby is a powerful political force in France. There are about 1.5 million registered hunters in the country, and they can form an influential voting bloc in rural areas. Mr. Macron has made efforts to attract their support since his election in 2017, including cutting the price of national hunting licenses in half, to 200 euros (about $240). About 5,000 hunters use glue traps to hunt birds, according to the French National Hunters’ Federation.

Willy Schraen, the head of the hunters’ federation, called the suspension “unacceptable.” “Let’s leave people alone,” he suggested in a television interview. “Why is this an issue to occupy Europe and our minister?” he questioned, referring to Ms. Pompili.

The hunting technique, known as glue-covered bird traps, is used to catch songbirds like thrushes and blackbirds. Conservationists explain that it not only is cruel to the trapped songbirds, but also threatens endangered species because the traps ensnare many kinds of birds.

The European Union moved to outlaw glue traps in a 1979 measure that prohibited “nonselective” hunting, but France influenced by hunting lobby then created a workaround by regulating how birds captured by mistake could be released.

Krefeld Zoo apes cremated alive

The monkeys at Krefeld Zoo in Germany were burnt live in the fire in their shelter on the Saint-Sylvestre night December 31- January 1, zoo management announced. (Image: illustration)

“Our worst fears have come true,” wrote the zoo on its Facebook page. According to local police, more than 30 monkeys have died.

The cause of the fire is not been established yet, but there indications it was caused by the New Year celebrations fireworks, the Taggespiegel newspaper said, citing WDR, the regional public media. The first emergency calls came shortly after midnight. An investigation has been opened.

The zoo will remain closed next days, while the employees being “in shock” after this “appalling tragedy”, according to management.

The Dpa news agency, quoting officials, said the burnt animals included chimpanzees, orangutans and two gorillas, as well as fruit bats and a number of birds.

All the animals have been burnt in their cages without a chance to escape because there are no exits foreseen for them in case of emergency.


Pigeon auctioned for €1.25m

A champion pigeon has been auctioned for a record €1.25m ($1.42m/£1.07m).

Auction house Pipa called Armando the “best Belgian long-distance pigeon of all time”. He’s also been dubbed the “Lewis Hamilton of pigeons“.

Before this epic sale, the record was €376,000 (£321,800). However, Pipa representative explains the record was beaten within a day of Armando being put up for bids. The champion bird (5 years), is now enjoying his retirement and has already fathered a number of chicks. Reportedly the happy new owner of the bird is a Chinese pigeon amateur. (Image above: illustration).

Malta nominates Bird Hero 2018

Nimrod Mifsud, a BirdLife Malta volunteer for over ten years, has shown passion and drive in his efforts to help birds migrating over Malta leave safely without being trapped or killed by hunters in line with island’s an ancient tradition of hostility against birds.

“Nimrod demonstrates a passion and drive for ensuring birds migrating over Malta leave our islands safely without persecution”, says Mark Sultana, BirdLife Malta’s CEO. “He has suffered verbal and physical abuse while out monitoring illegal hunting. Thanks to his interventions, illegal hunters and trappers have been brought to justice. He is an excellent mentor for new volunteers, keeping the group motivated at difficult times. His willingness to go above and beyond also means he is always on hand to provide extra support when it comes to ensuring that birds are protected. Nimrod is also skilled in transmitting his passion to nature protection to others and is an essential asset during campaigns and educational events.”

 

Europol: wildlife crimes

The Spanish Guardia Civil, with the support of Europol and in close cooperation with Mexico, has carried out Operation SUZAKU, resulting in 29 arrests in Spain and in other countries. All of the arrestees have been charged with crimes of smuggling, wildlife crime and animal abuses, as well as being part of a criminal infrastructure.

Over 2,000 animal were seized during Operation SUKAZU, and the expected benefits that could have been obtained by the trafficking of species have been estimated to be above half a million euro. International trafficking of species is identified as a priority in the fight against organised crime within the EU Policy Cycle for the next four years.

The organised crime group controlled a network of operators, who were transporting birds of a large variety of species to Spain from different places in Africa and Latin America by using mules. International collaboration has taken place with police authorities and other bodies from 18 different countries.

Using various concealment techniques, the criminal group trafficked birds that are classified under different types of protection and that were included in the CITES Convention and in the national protection laws of the countries of origin. Many of the birds died during the transit and sometimes the death rate reached 50%. The criminal group used several points of entry in Spain, using the airports of Madrid-Barajas, Pamplona and Bilbao.

Operation SUZAKU has been mainly carried out by the Nature Protection Service (SEPRONA) of the Guardia Civil. Europol supported the operation and facilitated the exchange of operational information. AMERIPOL coordinated the activities with the different Latin American countries involved.

Europol birds

Russia to invest in windmills

windmills

Gazprombank will provide a loan of 64.6 billion rubles ($1.1 billion) to the Rosatom state nuclear corporation for the wind farms construction in Russia, according to the Rosatom procurement website, Russian Radio Sputnik reports.

VetroOGK, part of Rosatom, will attract 64.6 billion rubles from Gazprombank in two tranches. The amount of the first tranche is to stand at 57.4 billion rubles, the amount of the second tranche is estimated at up to 7.2 billion rubles. The loans must be payed off no later than December 31, 2026, according to the website.

Rosatom considers wind energy projects to be one of the most promising of their non-nuclear growth points. The state corporation estimated that wind energy market in Russia by 2024 could reach a turnover of about 200 billion rubles a year.

 

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