Successes in Italy
The excessive hunting of migratory birds in Europe led nature and nature lovers to found the Committee Against Bird Slaughter (CABS) in 1975. Italy was the Committee's first large project area - our most extensive activities still take place on the Apennine Peninsula today. Together with our partner associations, we have already achieved a lot:
- After the significant tightening of laws, many hunters in Italy have thrown in the towel. In 1975 more than 1.5 million hunters went hunting between Brenner and Sicily, today there are around 600,000.
- After fierce protests by hunters, the parliament in Rome passed a new hunting law in 1992 which finally implements the EU Birds Directive. The number of birds shot in Italy each year has therefore fallen from an estimated 30 million to around 20 million.
- Although the sale of birds shot during hunting was banned in 1992, songbirds were still on the menus of countless restaurants. Until the end of the 1990s, the committee, together with the police, coordinated raids against restaurants. With success, because today Songbirds are rarely offered.
- The sale of sparrows imported from Tunisia to butchers and restaurants was permitted through a loophole in Italian law. Due to an EU environmental complaint of the committee, Italy had to change the hunting law - since August 2014 the import of the sparrows is forbidden!
- Since the mid-1990s, the committee and our partner associations have succeeded in routinely bringing poachers of protected songbirds to justice every year. Since 2012, Italy's regions have waived hunting derogations - a great success for bird protection!
- In the summer of 2013, the parliament in Rome tightened the hunting law and drastically increased the hurdles for the hunting derogations for EU-wide protected birds following a petition by the committee and our Italian partner associations. The hunting of brambling and chaffinches, which has been permitted again and again for years, will thus become almost impossible.
- In the 1970s, more than 2,000 large trapping installations were still legally in operation in northern Italy. With the new hunting law of 1992 they had to close down, only with special permits were about 50 of the sites reopened by 2014. And that too has been over ever since!
- The traditional bow traps in northern Italy are essentially now extinct after more than 30 years of our bird protection camps. While in 2001 more than 12,000 of the brutal traps were dismantled, in 2018 the figure was just 200. Of an estimated 300,000 traps in the 1980s, less than 5 % are presumed to stand today.
- In Sardinia, a significant decline in poaching can be observed everywhere where our bird protection camps take place. Where more than 20,000 horsehair snares were found annually in the 1990s, there are now far fewer than 5,000 of the prohibited traps.
- The use of small snap traps to catch songbirds in spring along the coast of southern Italy has almost come to a standstill after 20 years of extensive operations. Up until the late 1990s tens of thousands of treacherous traps were used, today only a few dozen poachers lay out traps.