Wild birds are being hunted by the millions throughout Mediterranean Europe with impunity, despite strong laws against the practice. It is estimated that 25 million birds are hunted annually, using cruel trapping methods, such as tangled nets, metal traps, and glue-covered tree branches. Egypt, Italy, and Syria are the biggest offenders, yet several nations engage in the practice. Why are people getting away with this?

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Bill Oddie, British ornithologist and conservationist, says “The figures are shocking and it’s getting worse. Hunting groups in many countries are stopping the laws being enforced. Many people in the EU probably know or actually are shooters. People in power like killing things.” The victims of these outdated cultural practices are chaffinches, thrushes, robins, quails and many other species of birds migrating their way across Europe.

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A recent study authored by Ann-Laure Brochet demonstrates how these numbers are so high due to lobbying by hunting groups and national traditions justifying the cruelty, which leads to authorities being lax with the laws. Also, the European Commission has recently come under fire by over 100 conservation groups, including BirdLife International, for their reassessment of protective bird directives. Over 500,000 people have signed a petition demanding they not buckle under the pressure of special interests, and instead stand up for the protection of wildlife. It is estimated that one fifth of European birds are at risk for extinction, and turning a blind eye to these widespread hunting methods isn’t helping.

Via The Guardian

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