Target: Karmenu Vella, Commissioner, Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, European Union
Goal: Crack down on illegal bird hunting, which results in the deaths of over 25 million European birds per year.
An estimated 25 million birds are illegally hunted throughout Europe and the Middle East each year according to a recent study. These include songbirds and migratory birds that are protected or nearly extinct, such as the pallid harrier or the Egyptian vulture. The study shows that France, Italy, and Greece are among the biggest killers of birds in the European Union in spite of laws designed to protect the birds from hunting.
Hunters in these areas are using increasingly shocking and effective tactics in order to lure and capture the birds that can kill thousands at a time. Some hunters will cover vast areas of trees with nylon netting which traps the birds, while others use poison in common food sources. Some have resorted to covering trees in glue, and France has seen a rise in metal traps with recordings of chirping birds to lure others in.
In Italy, 5.6 million birds were killed last year alone, with over 150 species proving to be common targets. This kind of hunting is unsustainable and could cause serious damage to many bird populations, particularly considering that many of these species are already facing steady population declines. The European turtle dove and the song thrush, both of which are heavily hunted in Mediterranean countries, are at risk of being wiped out entirely without intervention.
The reluctance of European Union authorities to crack down on this illegal hunting creates an air of impunity among hunters who will continue to flout wildlife protection laws unless authorities take a stand against the rampant hunting of wild birds. Sign the petition below to demand that the European Union takes action against the mass killing of migratory birds.
Dear Commissioner Karmenu Vella,
A recent study has shown that over 25 million birds are illegally killed throughout Europe and the Middle East annually. Countries like France, Italy, and Greece are resorting to increasingly brutal and effective tactics to capture the birds, including using poison in food sources or glue and netting in vast expanses of trees.
The European Union’s lack of enforcement of wildlife protection laws is allowing these hunters to operate without any interference from the authorities, which in turn encourages the expansion of these brutal mass-hunting operations. Should the hunters be allowed to continue as they are, several species of bird could became extinct within the next decade. We, the undersigned, demand that the European Union steps up to increase enforcement of migratory bird protection laws.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Mahbob Yusof