Slaughter of migratory birds on the shores of Egypt
140 million birds killed every autumn
A disturbing picture presents itself along the Mediterranean coast of Egypt: Journalists of the Bavarian Broadcasting Corporation (BR) have documented continuous nets along 700 km of coast, recalling a picture know from ball fences around sport courts. But here the nets are used to catch birds at an unimaginable scale, to offer them later as delicacies on the markets and in the restaurants across the country.
Two billion migratory birds are currently making their way from Europe to their wintering grounds in Africa. For 140 million of them the deadly final stop is called Egypt. One in seventeen of all European migrant birds gets caught in what is the largest bird trap in the world!
Along 700 kilometres the fine trapping nets are stretching along the entire Egyptian Mediterranean coast from Gaza to Libya. 700 kilometres of gapless doom.
Some birds are flying up to 1,000 km a day, without resting even once. They accomplish incredible performances – every autumn anew. But instead of respect and recognition for their unique achievements it is agonizing death that is waiting for them.
Since the „Arab Spring“ and especially since the unrests earlier this summer, due to the crisis of state and economy, the hunt for birds has gone completely out of control. This unrestrained poaching is largely illegal – but nobody cares about the rules. Too tempting is the profit of the cruel deed: For a single quail the men get five Euros!
The trapped birds are being brutally mutilated, stuffed into tiny cages, slaughtered on the markets and sold – as precious delicacies. Nightingales, bee-eaters, red-backed shrikes, corncrakes, golden orioles,…
What is more is this: Many of the trapped bird species are red-listed in Europe. Many are facing extinction anyway and are being protected and nurtured in Europe with great expenditure.
We have to put an end to this insanity. Stop bird slaughter and cruelty to animals, protect the life of our migratory birds – together with NABU! Please sign this petition!
NABU is not going to watch this drama without doing anything. With your help, we will act:
• In November we will submit this petition to the Egypt government and to the German government.
• With the help of our partner network of BirdLife International we are putting pressure on Egypt via national and international institutions.
• We are supporting our partners and responsible government bodies in Egypt with advice and financial resources, to help them improve and enforce their hunting laws to put an end to this bird slaughter. Egypt needs a new start. Let’s make a start by tackling illegal bird slaughter.
• We will prompt the German and other national European governments as well as the European Union to direct aid money especially to projects that are contributing to an end of the bird slaughter.
• the government of the Arabic Republic of Egypt
• the government of the Federal Republic of Germany and of other European countries
• the Commission of the European Union
This year, the German and European public has learned about the shocking extent of bird trapping in Egypt. During autumn migration of birds a continuous line of bird trapping nets extends over more than 700 kilometres along the Egyptian coast of the Mediterranean. Every autumn about 140 million migratory birds are being caught there. Birds arriving after their exhausting non-stop journey across the Mediterranean Sea therefore have hardly a chance to reach their wintering quarters in Sub-Saharan Africa and to return back to Europe next spring to breed. Additionally, waterbirds are trapped and shot at many inland lakes and large birds are being shot with rifles at will.
This situation destroys nature conservation efforts undertaken in Germany and other European countries and infringes international conventions about the conservation of migratory species of birds and animals signed also by Egypt. Even bird trappers in Egypt already complain about reductions in numbers of birds caught despite ever increasing trapping effort.
Bird trapping and hunting cannot carry on in Egypt at the current extent. Illegal killing must end immediately, legal hunting must become effectively regulated and must be drastically reduced.
The signatories of this petition therefore ask the government of the Arabic Republic of Egypt to:
• recognize and tackle the problem of uncontrolled trapping and hunting of birds in Egypt, and to fulfill their obligations resulting from international nature conservation conventions signed by Egypt.
• ensure through effective regulation of hunting that the populations of any bird species cannot become threatened as a result of hunting in Egypt, and that no animal has to suffer unnecessarily. To this end, adequate regulations about huntable species, hunting methods, hunting periods and bag limits must be set up as well as a clear attribution of responsibilities for the issuing of hunting licenses.
• consistently investigate and penalise violations against present and future improved hunting regulations. To this end, a functioning monitoring system of hunting activities must be put in place, and capacities for the enforcement of hunting regulations must be set aside.
• support and consistently implement the Action Plan for the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Landbirds (AEMLAP), which is currently being developed within the Bonn Convention for Migratory Species of Animals (CMS).
The signatories of this petition at the same time address the government of the Federal Republic of Germany, the governments of other European countries and the Commission of the European Union with the ask to:
• influence and encourage the government of Egypt, to effectively combat illegal hunting and trapping and to regulate legal hunting so that no populations of migratory birds species will be threatened and that no animal needs to suffer unnecessarily, and to offer technical and financial support required for this undertaking.
• set up funding priorities for national and European institutions and programmes active in Egypt under which projects directed at combating bird trapping and hunting could be supported, e.g. programmes regarding environmental education or the development of alternative streams of income.
• support on an international level the development of the new Action Plan for the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Landbirds (AEMLAP) under the Bonn Convention for Migratory Species of Animals (CMS), and to influence Egypt to sign and implement this plan.