Komitee gegen den Vogelmord e.V. Committee Against Bird Slaughter (CABS)

Komitee gegen den Vogelmord e. V.
Committee Against Bird Slaughter (CABS)

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Control and killing

Buzzard illegally poisoned in Germany
Buzzard illegally poisoned in Germany

There are many conflicts between wild birds and humans. Geese eat freshly germinated grain, starlings plunder fruit trees, cormorants catch fish, hawks occasionally capture a chicken or a carrier pigeon. 

Therefore, some species such as wood pigeons (damage in vegetable cultivation), corvids (agriculture), cormorants (fishing) as well as various species of geese (agriculture), are regularly authorised to be shot. In the Mediterranean region, starlings can also be hunted because they supposedly cause damage to fruit cultivation. Corvids birds such as carrion crows or magpies are also believed to be decimating populations of rare animal species. 

There is no doubt that these species may occasionally cause damage. Whether this justifies hunting is questionable. Very often, the damage is not detectable or it is minimal. Furthermore, culling does not always reduce populations and it is therefore pointless - and unethical. It seems that the alleged damage is often just an excuse to expand the list of species that can be hunted. 

However, it is not uncommon that the target species are protected. These include herons due to damage in fishing or birds of prey. Goshawks, Peregrine Falcons, buzzards, have many groups of people for whom they are considered a thorn in the side: chicken farmers fear for their poultry, pigeon fanciers fear for carrier pigeons and small game hunters fear for their pheasant poults. Instead of either accepting the losses or protecting their livestock better, some use poison, traps or shotguns against the birds. Illegal bird of prey persecution is the biggest poaching problem in Central and Western Europe.