24 October 2012
Mario Mauro (PPE)
The common starling (Sturnus vulgaris), a fruit- and insect-eating passerine bird that lives in large flocks, continues to be a talking-point for farmers in Apulia and in Brindisi province in particular. Flying from place to place, starlings cause substantial harvest losses all over the Brindisi countryside. Their numbers increase greatly in winter with the arrival of winterers, and Apulian farmers now regard the species as a pest to crops, especially at olive harvest time.
Under Directive 79/409/EEC of 2 April 1979 (Annex II/2) Sturnus vulgaris is not classed as a species that may be hunted in Italy, an omission which results in severe hardship for the areas affected. To avoid further damage, the starling could be made a huntable species, as this would eliminate major nuisances in the agricultural sector, which is already undergoing a deep-rooted structural crisis.
Is the Commission aware of the above facts?
Does it think that it could take action?
Could Sturnus vulgaris be added to the list of huntable species in Directive 79/409/EEC in order to resolve this serious problem?
Answer given by Mr Potočnik on behalf of the Commission
12 December 2012
The Commission would refer the Honourable Member to its answer to Written Question E-9815/10(1).