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Dear Commissioner Janez Poto%u010Dnik,,
It is disturbing to hear that the Parany trapping bird method, illegal since 2002, is still flourishing in the Valencian and southern Catalonian regions in Spain, and that that the regional government in Valencia plans to amend the hunting law to permit the practice to be conducted legally.
This is unacceptable in the first half of the 21st Century. Not only is the practice cruel to the birds involved, it is also conducted on a massive and non-selective scale which not only negatively affects the populations of the legally huntable species, but also a large number of other protected migrant song bird species.
Monitoring studies by local conservationists have shown however that this practice has continued almost unabated until the present day. It is estimated that in Valencia alone over 1 %uFFFD million migrant song birds fall victim to Parany trapping every year - in the course of a single month!
The main targets of the trappers are thrushes, which may legally be hunted in season, although not employing such a non-selective method and on a massive scale which is in clear contravention of the EU Bird Protection Guidelines. The by-catch is high, amounting to an estimated 23 % and more of birds caught, including Blackcaps and Robins which transit the region on migration to Southern Spain and North Africa and other protected insectivorous species.
The Parany bird trapping method is in contravention of Spanish national law and the European Union Bird Protection Guidelines. Conservationists throughout the EU will resist all and any attempts to permit this mass and non-selective bird trapping method.
You are therefore urged to investigate and challenge this potential grave breach of European legislation and use your powers to stifle any attempt to legalise the practice. Apart from the already serious negative impact on bird populations, toleration or legalisation of the Parany trapping method presents an open invitation for other member states of the EU to reintroduce similar non-selective 'traditional' and 'socio-cultural' practices and severely weaken the protection afforded by the Birds Directive.