Bird Smuggling – A Gruesome Find

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Published by on December 5, 2004 courtesy of Proact

A gruesome find: Customs officers discover suitcases full of song bird corpses in Munich – 2,100 Meadow Pipits confiscated.
Press Release by the Komitee gegen den Vogelmord (Committee against Bird Slaughter)

http://www.komitee.de

3. December 2004
Munich. In the course of a routine inspection of luggage with an x-ray machine at Munich Airport Customs officers found 4 suitcases stuffed to the brim with highly protected song birds. In the luggage of a 40 year old Italian, en route to North Italy from Romania, the officers discovered 2,101 dead Meadow Pipits, neatly laid out and packed in plastic bags. The Committee against Bird Slaughter has received information to the effect that the birds were intended for sale to gourmets in a Venetian restaurant. Despite strict laws and regulations, “Polenta ucelli” (Polenta with song bird) or “Spiedo ucelli” (song bird on a spit) are still considered delicacies which can be bought ‘under the counter’ at high prices.
According to the spokesperson of the Committee Axel Hirschfeld “the illegal sale of song birds in Italy is still a million Euro business”. Bird protection societies estimate that in North Italy alone 2 million thrushes, robins, finches and other song birds are eaten. The poaching and smuggling of these birds is professionally organised. “Not long ago an attempt was made to smuggle dead song birds in coffins from Romania” Hirschfeld says.
The Committee also stated that hundreds of thousands of migrating birds are shot or trapped on their roosts every year in Romania for the benefit of Italian gourmets. Meadow pipits belong to the family of pipits and wagtails Motacillidae and are on the Red List in Germany. Population figures have sunk drastically in the last few years; according to the Committee only 90,000 pairs still breed in Germany.
Press Release by the Komitee gegen den Vogelmord (Committee against Bird Slaughter)

http://www.komitee.de

3. December 2004
Further information, or pictures of plucked song birds, can be obtained from the Committee:
Telefon:+49 228-66 55 21 or Telefax: + 49 228-66 52 80
Alexander Heyd, Auf dem Dransdorfer Berg 98, 53121 Bonn
Translation and worldwide distribution David Conlin 2004

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