Live decoys for hunting
In countries where the shooting of migratory birds is permitted, hundreds of thousands of additional thrushes, finches, pigeons, ducks and other waterfowl are wild caught every year and subsequently used as live decoys for hunting. This applies especially to thrushes, larks and finches, but also to other species such as turtle doves, golden plovers and other waders, which can still be hunted in Italy and France.
CABS and our partner associations have already campaigned to restrict the cruel use and keeping of live decoys in these countries. For example, through complaints to the Italian administrative courts, we have recently managed to ensure that finches, larks and thrushes can no longer be caught in northern Italy and then sold to hunters as decoys. At the same time, during the inspections of our teams, hunters are repeatedly found to have wild caught decoy birds in their possesion which are and subsequently confiscated, rehabilitated and released. Thus alone with our bird protection camps in Brescia, northern Italy more than 500 live decoy birds are routinely seized with hunters each autumn. The birds are either not at all ringed or were provided with falsified rings.
In Malta, too, CABS reports to the police regularly lead to criminal proceedings and sentences against live decoy trappers and traders. For example, a group of men who caught golden plovers on a large scale and then sold them on the internet were successfully prosecuted in 2018.