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Press release 23 May 2012

German Bird of the Year - young Jackdaws ’disposed of‘ alive in dustbins

Complaint filed against chimneysweeps in Mönchengladbach and Gevelsberg

Brutally disposed of in dustbins  by chimneysweeps - Jackdaw chicks from a chimney in GevelsbergBrutally disposed of in dustbins by chimneysweeps - Jackdaw chicks from a chimney in GevelsbergMönchengladbach/Schwelm. The Committee Against Bird Slaughter (CABS) today sharply denounced the ‘disposal’ of live Jackdaw chicks by chimneysweeps. In two separate incidents in Mönchengladbach and the Ennepe-Ruhr District nests of Germany’s Bird of the Year 2012 were removed during chimney cleaning and thrown into dustbins with the live chicks. Official complaints have been filed against the chimneysweeps in both cases for cruelty to animals and offences against Federal Nature Protection Law.

In Gevelsberg a vigilant neighbour found one dead and three living Jackdaw chicks in a dustbin. Research by CABS has revealed that the birds and the nest were removed two days ago during chimney cleaning and - although the birds were clearly alive - stuffed into a dustbin by the chimneysweep. “Without any scruples the chicks were condemned to death by hunger. We have filed an official complaint against those responsible on the grounds of cruelty to animals and offences against Federal Nature Protection Law” comment s Alexander Heyd, General Secretary of CABS. The three chicks still alive have been taken to a nearby wild bird rehabilitation station where they will be cleaned up and fed, and later released into the wild.

The young birds, discovered in a organic waste (!) bin in have their loud tweeting to thank for their rescue. The birds were taken to the nearby bird of prey clinic where they will be cared for and prepared for later release into the wild. In this case as well it was the chimneysweep who removed the nest together with the young birds and disposed of it in the bin. Following the official complaint by CABS the police in Mönchengladbach have begun an investigation against those responsible.

The Jackdaw population has sharply declined in Germany over the past few years and was therefore nominated Bird of the Year for 2012. As a hole breeder that lives in close association with human settlements, the birds prefer to build their nests in old structures and chimneys. In the breeding season their nests are therefore increasingly destroyed during chimney cleaning. “We understand entirely that the chimneys have to be cleared of obstructions” states Heyd, “but there is no excuse for throwing living birds in a rubbish bin, and those concerned must reckon with prosecution”.

It is possible to fit chimneys still in use with protecting grids or covers and provide nest boxes or other alternative nest sites for the birds. Special Jackdaw nest boxes are nowadays available in DIY stores or can be ordered on the internet.

Contact and photos: Axel Hirschfeld
Committee Against Bird Slaughter (CABS), An der Ziegelei 8, 53127 Bonn
Tel.: +49 228/665521 or +49 179 480 3805, Email: presse@komitee