Catching with limesticks for birds is now banned in all EU countries.

It has now become a reality, what animal welfare organizations have been fighting for for years.
The catching of limesticks for birds is now banned in all EU countries. France was the last country to classify the fishing method as illegal!

It’s a breakthrough in bird conservation.
Since June 28, 2021, the controversial hunt for limed birds has been banned throughout the European Union. As the last country in the EU, France has now declared the fishing practice illegal. The French Supreme Administrative Court announced last Monday that the trapping technique for blackbirds and thrushes could not be approved in their current condition.

Eric Neuling, bird protection consultant at the German Nature Conservation Union (NABU), welcomes the verdict: “At NABU, we have been fighting against the hunting of limedrods for years. The verdict is a groundbreaking success for bird protection across Europe.”

Illegal bird trapping in Cyprus with liming rods and nets

Up until the end of the day, liming was still practiced in some areas of the south of France. Every year around 40,000 birds – including protected species – were painfully caught in France. The decision of the French administrative court now followed a ruling by the European Court of Justice in March, according to which the technology fundamentally violates EU law.

Hunting tradition is no longer placed above animal welfare

When catching limescences, bird trappers set sticky traps for birds by smearing sticky glue on branches.
If the birds perch on the prepared rods or fly close by, the animals stick to the sticky paste. As the birds attempt to escape, they begin to flutter in panic, which causes the feathers and wings to stick together even more.
Often the only thing left for the animals is painful death.

Ramifications for Cyprus after European court rules on bird trapping | Cyprus Mail

Due to the long tradition of hunting in some of the departments, France held on to exceptions to the trapping method until the very end and instructed the competent authorities not to pursue them, because the limestick trapping for blackbirds and thrushes is a hunting method with a long tradition and therefore the actually forbidden Bycatch and death of protected bird species such as robins, finches or bunting could be tolerated (!!!)

France was the only EU country that still allowed limesticks to be used.

France is the worst country in attacks against animal rights activists.
Entire villages sometimes gather there to hunt down activists and corner them. There people were even splashed with pork piss.

Bird protection organizations had challenged the regulations before the French Council of State.
At his request, the European Court of Justice dealt with the question of whether limestine hunting complied with the requirements of the EU Birds Directive.
The EU court found that there were satisfactory alternatives to the fishing technique.
It is also very likely that the accidentally caught birds will suffer irreparable damage, even if their plumage is then cleaned of the sticky glue.

The poachers use such limesticks to capture the songbirds.

The verdict gives hope for further bans

The State Council stated in its decision that neither the government nor the hunting association had been able to provide sufficient evidence that only a small number of birds other than the species sought were caught.
It cannot be assumed that these suffered only minor damage.

Vortrag Vogelmord – NABU Seeheim-Jugenheim

Despite the EU-wide ban on hunting, NABU does not expect hunting to end for good in the near future.

Because just because the trapping method has been classified as illegal across the EU does not mean that liming rod trapping is actually no longer practiced.

“Bird hunting is particularly important in the Mediterranean region.
In rural regions in particular, it is a valuable cultural asset (!!!). It sometimes takes years before the new legal situation is firmly anchored in the minds of the population, “ says NABU bird protection expert Eric Neuling.

Illegal trapper with limesticks on back of motorcycle going to orchard to set up Cyprus autumn

“Especially in Cyprus, but also in Italy and France, limesticks are still being caught – albeit in secret and with certainly lower numbers of cases. Most of the time, the hunt takes place in rural areas. That makes control all the more difficult.”

Nevertheless: The judgment gives hope that further bans on non-selective bird trapping methods in the EU and that catching limesticks will soon actually be history.

https://www.geo.de/natur/tierwelt/leimruten-fang-von-voegeln-eu-weit-verboten-30601704.html

And I mean…“The increase in limestick use is worrying and we believe it is linked to the much lower fine of 200 euros for limestick trapping, which is not deterrent to trappers. Equally worrying is the fact that big, organized trappers continued undisturbed with the mass killing of songbirds last autumn. The authorities need to apply effective enforcement action against these trappers to deal with this issue once and for all“, stated BirdLife Cyprus’ Campaigns Coordinator, Tassos Shialis.

https://birdlifecyprus.org/illegal-bird-trapping-plugging-one-gap-only-to-create-another/

Now the EU has made catching birds with limesticks illegal.
On paper it looks good. As effective as the regulations for animal transport, for example

NABU’s fear is correct that despite the limestick ban, the poachers will continue to practice the method.
These people still will take the risk because the fines for the use of limesticks are ridiculously low.

The illicit market for song birds, served as delicacies in local restaurants, is a multi-million industry in Cyprus (but not only in Cyprus) driven by organized gangs.

Bird trapping may have been a traditional, small-scale method of hunting birds in the past. Today, current levels of activity indicate an industrialized, large-scale, and profitable business.
Illegally, at the expense of our natural heritage, at the expense of defenseless animals.

Organised trappers, with the use of electronic calling devices, trap tens of thousands of birds every season and make in the order of 15 million euros every year.

The bird business simply makes a lot of money for the people in these countries.
For a songbird, the hunter in Cyprus is paid four euros, on good days he catches 100 of them.
Roast songbirds cost around 40 euros in a restaurant. You can really earn money there!

Only one thing can help: huge fines, without exception or delay, that hurt the poachers financially.

The prerequisite for this would be that the authority acts according to the law and not corrupt, which is very difficult to find in most EU countries.

My best regards to all, Venus

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