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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Limesticks in Spain: "Baraca" and "Parany"

Bird trapping on public land

Limericks set in clear view. Visible in the "fingers".
Limericks set in clear view. Visible in the "fingers".

In the eastern Spanish regions of Catalonia and Valencia, bird-trapping with limesticks was still widespread until 2015. Since the expansion of our Campaigns and Operations and Lobbying for more police presence, the use of glue in bird-trapping has decreased significantly in recent years!

Unlike other poaching areas in Europe, the perpetrators are not hiding here. On the contrary: their trapping installations are huge, old trees, some of which have been used for centuries. They can be seen for miles, along main roads and in residential areas, on the edge of shopping centres and even within sight of police stations. Bird slaughter is a public affair in Spain!

The trees (mostly carob and olive trees) - in Valencia are called "Parany", in Catalonia "Baraca" - have been cut to size for generations. In the primary areas of the mighty and sweeping olive and carob trees, chimney-like branches pointing upwards have been carved out. Between these "fingers" horizontal limesticks are secured into place. A tangle of ladders and bridges leads to the top of the tree, where the bird-trappers can move over several floors.

Prohibition of limesticks in Spain

A robin trapped in a "parany" with limesticks.
A robin trapped in a "parany" with limesticks.

The European Union banned this trapping method with the EU Birds Directive in 1979. However, the Barracas and Paranys were still permitted for more than 20 years under a derogation - until finally the European Court of Justice ruled that the facilities had to be shut down. But it was not until Spanish courts ruled that bird-trapping must be stopped that the cruel installations were banned. Yet still, nothing happened at first. Only when the regional government of Valencia wanted to approve the bird-trapping again in the summer of 2009 did the public and the EU Commission get really upset. In 2010 the bill was off the table, in 2011 CABS started our bird protection camps in Valencia to put an end to the poaching once and for all.

Of the 500 Parany and Baracas still active at the beginning of our campaigns, only about 10 percent are still in use today. The others will continue to be tended by the bird-trappers - in the unjustified hope that they will be allowed to catch birds again in the future.