POLL: Should the killing and trading of migratory birds be banned?

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Revealing scientific reports about the complexity of strategies employed by poachers and a cross-border trade scheme in the north African countries of Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria show that these activities have contributed to serious shrinkage of specie range of the beautiful (), which is often targeted by hunters.

On 22 June 2017, experts joined more than 80 people representing governments, civil society organisations the convention on migratory species and a network of experts working to stop illegal , and trade in wild birds met for two days in Sliema, the Republic of Malta, to press for the eradication of these threats which have been termed Illegal Killing, Taking and Trade of Migratory Wild Birds (IKB).

The Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) and African-Eurasian Migratory Landbirds Action Plan (AEMLAP) identifies taking and trade of migratory landbirds in the flyway as one of the main threats in the region.

European goldfinch: The species has become rarer in the Magreb over the past 30 years ©Lumoxg3, Flickr

“Man must continually evaluate his existing relationship with nature. There are many changes that have taken place within our environment and the human behaviour such as birds hunting must also change for nature to continue supporting human life,” stressed Dr. Olivier Biber, member of the AEMLAP working group, who participated in the meeting.

During the meeting, participants discussed a review by Birdlife International, on the IKB concern in the Mediterranean that was published in 2016 and acknowledged that the results from the review have catalysed government efforts either directly or indirectly to address this problem, which also affects many migratory landbirds. BirdLife also presented preliminary results for European IKB review, and indicated that a similar review is being undertaken for Iran, Iraq and the Arabian Peninsula.

As commitment to end this problem, participants agreed to have a scoreboard as a tool that governments would use to assess and grade progress of all European and Mediterranean countries towards ending illegal killing, taking and trade of migratory wild birds. A revised version of this scoreboard would be produced ahead of a CMS scientific council meeting in the German city of Bonn from 10 to 13 July. It shall also be presented for noting or adoption at the 12th CMS Conference of Parties, scheduled for 22 to 28 October 2017, in Manila, Philippines.

Apart from using the scoreboard as a supportive tool to allow governments to assess the results of their efforts in addressing the IKB problem, it was also unanimously agreed that welcoming other stakeholders to populate this tool would be a more participatory approach that adds value to it.

The Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) responded by forming an Intergovernmental Task Force on Illegal Killing, Taking and Trade of in the Mediterranean (MIKT) region. Several governments have also developed national strategies or action plans to tackle the problem at country level.

This outcome gave optimism that continued push by the governments and stakeholders will yield important results beneficial to AEMLAP species many of which are heavily affected by the IKB.

This meeting was hosted and chaired by the Maltese government, with Lebanon as the vice Chair and was attended by over 80 participants from 24 countries in Europe, 17 of which are EU member states and the Mediterranean, European Commission, 29 observer organisations that included NGOs, enforcement groups and networks and scientific organisations.

This article was first published by BirdLife International on 07 Jul 2017.

We invite you to share your opinion whether the killing and trading of migratory birds should be banned? Please vote and leave your comments at the bottom of this page.

Should the killing and trading of migratory birds be banned?

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Editorial Comment: The purpose of this poll is to highlight important wildlife conservation issues and to encourage discussion on ways to stop . By leaving a comment and sharing this post you can help to raise awareness. Thank you for your support.


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Tracy Whitcomb


Theresa Kemp

The killing of anything, that isn’t in the moment threatening your life, is wrong. We should stop messing with nature and start trying to live alongside it. Making money out of everything or destroying it just because it doesn’t look, behave, etc in the way we like, or even using for entertainment – Wrong!

Joel Craddock


Renate Kamm Cassady


Bob McFarland


Donna Williford Otto


Susannah Gelbart

Already voted!

Marianne Thorsdatter Måsvær

Voted yes of.course – why should they be killed…

Susan Spenard-Decker


Norma Hurt


Teresa Tyler


DeborahMae Broad

of course. what purpose does killing serve???????

Anna Maria De Cruz

Yes n yes

Simon Tucker

Astonished to find that, at the time of writing, three people are in favour of the continued slaughter

Kathy Carlin


Steve Macsweeney

Spain also–I have seen a Goldfinch in a Malaga bar, inside a cage no more than 20cms x 10cms.

Jaynie Lesniak

And those blasted wind turbines kill a lot of them!! I hate those things!!

Barbara Hohenberg

In all seriousness, this type of rhetorical question should be banned from this site. Or perhaps I am the only person who is annoyed by this practice, usually employed these days by the world of politics?

Arlene Labbe

Rhetorical question! YES!!!

Karen Lyons Kalmenson

labelling cruelty as a “cultural norm” does not excuse what it is…cruelty.

when will homo crapiens start looking at our planet and those who dwell upon it, as gifts to be treasured, and not as a vast meal plan

Barry Frederick Baudains

Voted yes of course.

Andrei Hanches

The topic seems to me to be very controversial,as many wildlife acts of crime are rooted in a cultural mosaic.On the Mediterranean,in the islands of Malta and Cyprus the trade of migratory birds (mostly black-caps and turtle-doves) boosts traditional avian dining.Many birds are slaughtered for a special recipe.The act of trapping the returning birds with thin nets is illegal but it carries on to this day.People must gain another attitude towards birds in my point o view.They can boost the economy with the help of eco-tourism.Enjoy the avian-fauna on the field not on a posh hotel table!

Judith Cavey

Voted YES ….. the killing of migratory birds in Southern Europe and North African countries is horrific and should have been banned years ago. No wonder our ‘summer visitors’ are in such a decline!!

Connie Wessel


Barbara Bee Sweetman

Easy to vote!

Margaret Cyr

Whoa!! How and Why is this allowed??