Could Stopping Hunting In Albania For 2 Years (at least) Be The Answer To Serbia Starting To Protect More Endangered Animals ?

Further Important Update 2/7.  Good News Possibly ?

We have been following up today (2/7) on the issue of migratory birds being killed in Serbia; and we can confirm that Serbia IS on the route for migratory birds heading from Africa into Europe.

Serbia wishes to join the EU as soon as it can.    The EU has a Directive (the EU Birds Directive) which does not allow the Spring Hunting of birds.  Only Malta does not enforce this in the EU.

Here is the link to the EU Directive which explains a lot more —   http://ec.europa.eu/environment/nature/legislation/birdsdirective/index_en.htm  

Directive 2009/147/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 30 November 2009 on the conservation of wild birds (this is the codified version of Directive 79/409/EEC as amended) is the EU’s oldest piece of nature legislation and one of the most important, creating a comprehensive scheme of protection for all wild bird species naturally occurring in the Union.

The directive recognises that habitat loss and degradation are the most serious threats to the conservation of wild birds. It therefore places great emphasis on the protection of habitats for endangered as well as migratory species (listed in Annex I), especially through the establishment of a coherent network of Special Protection Areas (SPAs) comprising all the most suitable territories for these species. Since 1994 all SPAs form an integral part of the NATURA 2000 ecological network.


The Birds Directive bans activities that directly threaten birds, such as the deliberate killing or capture of birds,
the destruction of their nests and taking of their eggs, and associated activities such as trading in live or dead birds,

 As Serbia wishes to join EU, we at SAV think that Serbian campaigners thus have a very good case for migratory birds in Serbia being protected by EU Directive 2009/147/EC of the European Parliament.  We think this really should form the main area for anything that they approach the Serbian government with regarding changes to the animal welfare laws which the government are currently attempting to do.

We consider that birds should get protection in Serbia with EU Directive !!

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Update 1/7 –

very informative articles –

http://www.birdlife.org/europe-and-central-asia/news/balkans-bird-mafia

http://www.newsweek.com/2015/02/13/massacre-europes-songbirds-304716.html  

All across south-east Europe but particularly in Romania, Serbia, Albania and Bulgaria, Italian hunters have become public enemy number one for bird lovers and conservationists.

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We (in UK) are trying to help Serbian campaigners regarding the proposed new Serbian animal welfare legislation; which currently seems to be all over the place – we are attempting to get accurate information but it is difficult at present.

One of the main questions that is currently being thrown in our direction it is regarding Albania – and we’re asked “if Albania has banned hunting, then can it not be achieved in Serbia ?”

Well our response is initially that there are several very important issues which have to be considered as part of any response to what appears to be a simple question.

Issues include:

  1. Albania has introduced a two-year ban on hunting; not currently a permanent ban.  Regardless of this, as animal welfare people, we very much welcome the decision.

  2. Albania is a Balkans country (like Serbia); which lies along a major migratory flyways, and which  encompasses wetlands and other habitats that provide crucial refuelling stops for millions of migrating birds.

  3. While many Albanians, including a substantial number of hunters, realized that the situation had to change, the (old) government showed no interest in strengthening conservation laws, or even in enforcing the regulations that were in place. But elections last June brought a new party to power, with government ministers more sympathetic to conservation.

  4. Albania’s move combined with a more pro-environment government clearly highlighted the clear connection between overhunting and species loss, which so many other countries (including Serbia) have yet to address, perhaps afraid of upsetting hunting lobbies or hunting “tradition”.

Today, 1/7, we have attempted to contact the UK RSPB (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds) to ask them for more information on major migratory routes from Africa to Europe; because if Serbia IS one of these prime routes then we can work with Serbian campaigners to press the Serbian government to introduce the same type of anti hunt legislation as now introduced in Albania.

Clever eh ? – especially as Serbia is seeking EU membership and wants drastically to be viewed as being very ‘pro EU’.  We say simply, and we know, that the EU does not like the killing by hunters of migratory birds, and so it is solely down to the Serbian government to review the current situation and take decisive action.  But we also have to ask will they put corruption aside and protect migratory birds and other protected animal species killed by hunters ?; or will they just continue down ‘corruption road’ as they have done; making no changes to the real benefit of any living thing apart from themselves ?

For your information, here below are a few links to the current (no) hunting situation in Albania, which we very much welcome.  We will be back at the UK RSPB tomorrow to get more info on the Africa – Europe migratory routes for birds; especially asking the question if Serbia is included as a major transit route for birds flying into Europe from Africa.

SAV.

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http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/02/140210-birds-albania-hunting-ban-migration-franzen/

Vast numbers of European birds and other wildlife will be spared from illegal slaughter, thanks to a two-year moratorium on all hunting enacted by the government of Albania.

The Balkan country, which lies along a major migratory flyway, encompasses wetlands and other habitats that provide crucial refueling stops for millions of migrating birds. But poor law enforcement, a surge in gun ownership, and an influx of foreign hunters had made Albania essentially a year-round shooting range. Targets were not just game species but also eagles, cranes, shorebirds, and even small songbirds.

While many Albanians, including a substantial number of hunters, realized that the situation had to change, the government showed no interest in strengthening conservation laws, or even in enforcing the regulations that were in place. But elections last June brought a new party to power, with government ministers more sympathetic to conservation.

http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2014/11/albania-hunting-ban-takes-aim-at-depopulation-2014111812148301986.html 

Albania’s coast is part of what’s called the Adriatic Flyway zone – an important resting spot for birds migrating between Europe and Africa. According to figures from EuroNatur, an NGO that runs conservation programmes in the region, an estimated two million birds were being hunted along the Adriatic coast before the moratorium came into effect.

http://www.rewildingeurope.com/news/albania-bans-all-hunting-for-two-years-to-protect-endangered-animals/  

The ban will be introduced in February. The new law suspends all hunting licenses and use of hunting areas. The government will use this hiatus to study ways to reform conservation regulations and bring control to what had become almost complete lawlessness.

http://www.birdlifecyprus.org/en/news-430-Ground_breaking_news_for_bird_conservation_Albania_votes_for_a_2_year_hunting_ban.html 

http://www.euronatur.org/News-Bird-hunting.939+M5fb2f742345.0.html?&cHash=d1553c491a421231fbcc3e00dfa76942 

The story “Last song for migrating birds” impressively shows how bird hunting in the Eastern Adriatic is persistently ruining extensive conservation programmes in the birds’ breeding areas. “The article was circulated within the relevant ministries and was very well received”, Spase Shumka, president of Albanian EuroNatur partner PPNEA, said to National Geographic. “The article strongly influenced the debate on hunting in Albania.”

Read the interview with Jonathan Franzen and an article on Albania’s hunting ban on the website of National Geographic:

Interview with Jonathan Franzen

Article “Albania’s Hunting Ban: Birds and Mammals Get a Two-Year Break”

Interview with Jonathan Franzen about his experiences at the “Adriatic crime scene” (2013)

http://www.onegreenplanet.org/news/albania-bans-hunting-to-save-endangered-species/ 

Albania’s environment ministry spoke with AFP, and reported that the country’s brown bears and eagles have become “seriously endangered” and that “the number of pheasant and wild quail have also fallen dramatically.”

We have been forced to adopt strict measures to protect endangered species from illegal hunting,” Environment Minister Lefter Koka told AFP.

The ban is set for introduction later this month, and while it will only remain in place for two years (unless revised later on), Albania’s move highlights the clear connection between overhunting and species loss, which so many other countries have yet to address, perhaps afraid of upsetting hunting lobbies or “tradition”.

 

 

 

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