Ban night time olive harvesting: it is killing millions of birds

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Every year, millions of songbirds are brutally killed by suction olive harvesters as they rest at night in olive trees. In many regions, this industrialised slaughter takes place because harvesters have switched to night time harvesting simply to improve the flavour of the olives. This can not be allowed to continue. 

The birds are dazzled by the intense lighting on the machinery and become unable to effectively escape from the path of the harvesters. If they do manage to fly away in time, they will often land in the next row of trees only to suffer the same fate as another harvester follows.

Scientists have confirmed that we are in the sixth mass extinction event, with the loss of an unprecedented number of species as a result of human activity. Many bird species are suffering from huge declines, and this appalling practice must be urgently reviewed before the next winter harvesting season. 

For further information, see the original article in Nature , and find more details, images and videos in Birdguides, and  The Independent.

The petition will be delivered to European Commission representatives from the four main olive growing countries - Portugal, Spain, Greece and Italy - as well as the UK as this is where the petition originated. These representative sit on the Ornis Committee, and are responsible for ensuring the Birds Directive is followed in member states.