Bird trade in Italy
While many Italian bird trappers catch and hunt birds for their own use, for others the hobby has become a lucrative business. Live caught birds can be sold for profit as cage and aviary birds or use as live decoys, dead birds can be sold to butchers and restaurants as gourmet delicacies. The perpetrators often have well-organised networks at their disposal, as the sale of shot or captured birds is strictly prohibited.
Songbirds for Restaurants
Especially in northern Italy, polenta (maize porridge) with songbirds is a considered to be coveted food. If you don't go hunting yourself or traps birds, you have to go to a restaurant.
Wild birds in the pet trade
As is the case all over the world, songbirds are popular pets in Italy. Instead of buying captive bred birds, traders often resort to wild caught birds for profiteering.
Trade in decoy birds
Living decoys are indispensable for the capanni hunting hides - they lure its others of the kind into the path of the hunters shotguns. Traders earn a lot of money with thrushes and larks.
Sparrows from Tunisia
In order to circumvent the marketing ban on native songbirds, bird traders repeatedly try to import dead wild birds from North Africa or East Asia.
Bird of Prey trade
Animal collectors and falconers pay top prices for a Bonelli's eagle or Lanner falcon from the wild. No wonder that criminals have turned it into a business.