Italy's shameful tradition
Year after year the same drama unfolds south of the Alps: As soon as the migratory birds have crossed the Italian border during their flight to Africa in autumn, they are forced to run the gauntlet and hail of lead from hundreds of thousands of hunters. From mid-September to the end of January, 35 bird species are authorised for shooting in Italy - most of them migratory birds such as skylarks, song thrushes, turtle doves and various water birds. The authorities allow >600,000 hunters a quota of 25 birds per day on approximately 60 hunting days, a staggering total of 20 million birds fall victim to this passion every year. In practically all regions, traps and nets are also still used for illegal poaching.
However, the glimmering light of change has been happening in Italy for some years now. As a matter of principle, more and more Italians are rejecting the hunting tradition. Many of them have joined together to form local groups which, with the support of the Committee Against Bird Slaughter (CABS), are successfully committed to better protection for migratory birds. Volunteer wildlife conservationists from many European countries come together to monitor the key migratory routes of the birds; and dismantle illegal traps together with hunting wardens and the police in an effort to bring poachers before the courts. As a result, the number of traps has declined significantly in recent years.
Bird trapping in Italy
In many regions of Italy, illegal bird trapping persists to this day. The use of mist nets remains widespread, and limesticks and other traps can also still be found.
Bird shooting in Italy
There are approximately 600,000 licensed hunters in Italy, the majority of whom go shooting. Thrushes and waterfowl are legally released for shooting, but protected species are also targeted.
Wild bird trade in Italy
Business is booming with songbirds in Italy. Dead birds are sold and offered as delicacies in black market restaurants, live birds are caught and used as live decoys or cage and aviary birds in the pet trade.
Poaching hotspots in Italy
Bird-trapping and poaching is not equally distributed in Italy. Concentrated hotspots can be found in the Alps, Venice, the islands of southern Italy and the Strait of Messina.
Bird protection camps in Italy
Whether in the Alps, on the Adriatic, in the Gulf of Naples, in Calabria or on Sicily - CABS volunteer members are routinely deployed across a total of 8 bird protection camps across Italy.
Research and lobbying
Research, litigation and lobbying in the work against poaching and bird hunting are a regular part of CABS repertoire in Italy.
Wildlife rescue centre in Modena
Italy's largest wildlife sanctuary has been established in Modena with financial and volunteer support from CABS. Over 3,000 wild animals are cared for here each year.
Successes in Italy
CABS have been working in Italy since the mid-1970s - the successes that have taken place over the years from north to south are impressive!