Bird trade in Lebanon
In Lebanon, millions of birds are legally shot by hunters or illegally killed by poachers every year. Most are used to generate profit by selling them as delicacies, taxidermy or live birds. In particular, the trade in frozen songbirds as food and live-caught birds such as goldfinches, bulbuls or other melodious songbirds is widespread.
In addition, rare and colourful large birds are of interest to many pet owners. Scattered throughout the country are private zoos and collections where birds shot and injured in hunting are kept and displayed by "enthusiasts." Some of these mostly severely injured animals are also used as live decoys for hunting to lure others of their kind into the path of awaiting shotguns.
Plucked and frozen songbirds are on sale at virtually every major supermarket in the frozen food section, right next to pizza and fish sticks.
Large birds and songbirds as pets
Not only goldfinches and other songbirds are widely kept as caged birds in Lebanon, storks, vultures and eagles are also found among animal collectors.
Taxidermy and trophies
In Lebanon, there is widespread trophy hunting of large birds - the market for taxidermy of birds of prey and pelicans, as well as colourful songbirds, is huge.