CABS activities and campaigns in Germany
Monitoring of hunting, nature and bird protection, wildlife trade and conservation projects
The persistent belief that Germany is a leading light in terms of nature and environment protection is widespread. Whether this in is fact the case is a matter of opinion. At present, in comparison with other countries, Germany is rather a candidate for the wooden spoon.
German hunting legislation dates back to the 1930s (Hermann Goering was Chief Huntsman of the Third Reich) and has never been thoroughly amended. To date there has been no place for modern ecological knowledge in the ramshackle Federal Hunting Law. German hunters indulge in both shooting of migrant birds and setting of cruel traps. Hunting is permitted in most nature reserves, birds are shot legally during the breeding season and special generous exceptions are made for shooting of protected species such as Grey Heron, Cormorant and corvids. The trapping, poisoning and shooting of protected species - above all birds of prey - is still widespread in parts of Germany and, unique for Europe, there is no functioning control organ.
In addition, Germany lags behind as far as species protection is concerned. Birds are smuggled in from the tropics or Eastern Europe and end up as allegedly captive bred offspring or end up in the collections of so-called bird lovers. There are countless pet owners in Germany who are not satisfied with keeping dogs or budgies; there is a brisk illegal trade in tortoises, parrots, ducks or tropical insects.
Nature and countryside protection is also not anywhere near perfect. Only some 4 % of the total area is protected - and in many of these small reserves the required protection measures are often not capitalised. As soon as economic interests such as road building or leisure activities begin to compete, the noble aims are forgotten and areas are unscrupulously destroyed. Germany has not for nothing been reproved on several occasions by the European Commission for inadequate implementation of international environmental regulations.
CABS is strives for an ecological reform of the Hunting Law, monitors hunting of migrant birds, is committed to putting an end to bird of prey persecution and combats illegal wildlife trade. In the eastern part of Schleswig-Holstein CABS has purchased large tracts of land and developed them into valuable nature reserves.
We are also successful in our efforts in our own country. An environmental complaint by CABS led to an overhaul of the Federal Hunting Law and hunting season regulations resulting in shorter hunting seasons for several migrant bird species. The nature protection laws have also been improved not least as result of our intervention. Our campaign for improved bird of prey protection in North-Rhine Westphalia is beginning to bear fruit and we are rightly proud of the progress of our Montagu’s Harrier and Black Tern conservation projects.