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Press release 21.11.2011

Conservationists prevent illegal hunting in EU nature reserve Elbaue Jerichow

Official complaint lodged against sale of protected waterfowl in restaurant

Tangermünde, Saxony-Anhalt. The Committee Against Bird Slaughter today presented evidence of illegal hunting of waterfowl in the EU nature reserve Elbaue Jerichow. The organisation reports how a group of hunters attempted to shoot down wild geese on their descent to their night roost on the River Elbe near Klietznick, in the Rural District of Jerichow. Photographs and videos of the hunters, clearly identifiable and with shotguns and where they admit to having shot at the geese, will be sent to the responsible authorities by CABS in the next few days.

Caught red-handed - CABS members confront hunters on the Elbe dyke near Jericow overlooking the goose night roostCaught red-handed - CABS members confront hunters on the Elbe dyke near Jericow overlooking the goose night roostThomas Hellwig, ornithologist and deputy chair of CABS, reports: ”As the first flock of geese flew in to their roost around 4.00 pm, 5 shots were fired in quick succession”. A CABS observer team managed to locate a group of four hunters armed with shotguns in the rough terrain and took photographs. The men turned out to be two local hunting guides who, although they must know better, had led two hunting tourists from Thuringia to the roost water. Confronted by the CABS conservationists the men left the area, but not before admitting on video that they had shot at the geese as they came into land.

The water bodies and oxbow lakes in the Havelland region are wetlands of international importance where tens of thousands of Common Cranes, ducks, swans and wild geese rest and spend the winter. In order to protect the birds in this very sensitive area a large zone has been designated as national or EU nature reserve. Hunting at or in the vicinity of roost waters is strictly forbidden in Saxony-Anhalt.

“We are appalled that some hunters still consider this unique near-natural landscape to be a self-service store for their hobby, and ignore the hunting regulations” comments Thomas Hellwig. The conservationist calls for better monitoring of the area by the authorities and a stricter control of estate managers who, for a tidy fee, organise waterfowl hunting parties in Saxony-Anhalt.

Another indication that commercial interests are often connected to waterfowl hunting was provided by the case of a restaurant in nearby Tangermünde that, despite a strict ban on marketing, offers its guests freshly-killed roast Swan from the region as a delicacy. A complaint against contravention of various laws and regulations has been laid against both the hunters and the restaurant. CABS will file an official complaint in this case as well and will send a copy of the restaurant menu to the responsible authorities.

Contact for further information: Komitee gegen den Vogelmord, Axel Hirschfeld (Press Officer), An der Ziegelei 8, D-53127 Bonn, Tel. +49 179 480 3805 or +49 228/665521