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Huge success in Italy

Finch hunting banned in Lombardy!

Wounded Chaffinch - such pictures should be absent in much of Italy this year!Wounded Chaffinch - such pictures should be absent in much of Italy this year!In 2010 hunting of finches is banned in almost the whole of Italy. For the first time in 14 years the hunting of Brambling and Chaffinch in also banned in Lombardy. Every autumn, the North Italian provincial government had permitted the shooting of the finch species, which are both protected species, without any legal foundation whatever. In addition the hunting of Sparrows, Hawfinch, Meadow and Tree Pipits was allowed. Other provincial governments such as Liguria, Marche, Tuscany and Umbria have also used this means to secure the votes of the hunters. CABS, together with its Italian partner organisation LAC, has challenged this exceptional permission every year before the administrative courts and has won its case each time.

In 2010 the highest Italian judicial instance, the constitutional court in Rome, has declared finch hunting inadmissible, as also the European Court of Justice (ECJ) that had started proceedings against Italy based on a complaint filed by CABS.

Only the Veneto region has ignored the various bans and court judgements and once again opened the season for hunting of finches, pipits and sparrows. The LAC has reacted by immediately filing a complaint with the administrative court in Venice.

The wide scale refusal by the provincial governments to permit hunting of these species in 2010 is a great success for bird protection and a slap in the face for the hunting lobby. The latter are however far from conceding defeat. The hunting-friendly and right wing separatist party Lega Nord , which is strongly represented in almost all north Italian regional parliaments and is part of Berlusconi’s government, has hung out large anti- bird protection posters throughout Lombardy. It is feared that pressure will again mount on the regional government to permit hunting of protected bird species. Whether or not the ban on hunting will be again imposed next year is an open question.