Conservationists across Europe are shocked by the Italian government’s plan to allow 7.5 million specimens of the endangered turtledove to be shot down this autumn.
The European Commission estimates that there are only between 2.9 and 5.6 million breeding pairs in the EU.
The shooting was decided at a meeting of the government with representatives of the regions, whose representatives, under pressure from the influential hunting lobby – above all the European hunting association FACE – almost without exception voted against a four-year closed season proposed by Rome.
Now each of the 500,000 Italian hunters should be allowed to kill up to 15 lovebirds in the coming hunting season!!
The Committee Against Bird Murder and its Italian partners are fighting against the hunting clearance and have received unexpected help: The anti-mafia hero Sergio De Caprio, legendary in Italy, who became famous as a police officer in 1993 after the arrest of mafia boss Totò Riina, also sits down in his Region of Calabria against the shooting plans.
EU Commission to finally enforce Europe-wide hunting bans for endangered species.
And I mean…The fauna and flora of Italy are extremely rich.
94,771 different animal species live on the boot south of the Alpine chain.
But Italy is also the country where, so say the animal welfare organizations, eagles and otters are still being shot, where a good thirteen regions abuse legal loopholes to permit the hunt for nationally protected species or to extend the hunting season.
Where the regional legislation in the matter of hunting is sometimes in stark contrast to the laws of the EU.
Where hundreds of volunteer game rangers try in vain to stop poaching, which is now threatening at least ten protected species with extinction.
Where you can shoot ducks from concrete bunkers.
Where every year thousands upon thousands of migratory birds are killed with the help of decoys and illegal electromagnetic decoys.
In hardly any other country in the EU is the overlap between licensed hunters and criminal poachers as great as in Italy. Almost three-quarters of all convicted poachers have a hunting license.
The turtle dove is classified by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as a globally endangered species, the population of which in Europe has declined by around 40% in the last 16 years.
In some countries and regions, the loss is more than 90%, here the species is on the verge of disappearing.
The shooting of lovebirds is a sadist passion that has nothing to do with sustainable hunting but is rapidly accelerating the extinction of this species in Europe.
Nevertheless, the Italian hunting association and its European umbrella organization have pulled out all the stops to prevent the moratorium proposed by the government in Rome.
The EU bird protection directive gives the member states the possibility to release protected bird species for catching or shooting if it is a “tradition”, only “small amounts” are concerned, if there is “no other satisfactory solution” and if there is sufficient control the requirements are ensured.
The 7.5 million turtledoves are certainly a small amount, so the EU doesn’t have to worry about them !!!
My best regards to all, Venus