Commission calls on GREECE to tackle the illegal poisoning of birds

The European Commission is requesting Greece to establish a general system of protection for wild birds, prohibiting, in particular, their deliberate killing through poison baits. The use of poison baits is widespread in Greece, and no serious action has been taken so far, contrary to what is required under the Birds (Directive 2009/147/EC) and Habitats (Council Directive 92/43/EEC) Directives. In the Natura 2000 site of Nestos river, for example, the use of this illegal practice in 2012 led to the destruction of an entire vulture species colony, but the Greek authorities have so far done little to prevent such incidents from happening again. The Commission opened an infringement procedure against Greece in September 2013, urging the Greek authorities to better control this phenomenon in the entire country and to adopt the necessary measures to restore the damages that have occurred in Nestos in 2012. As the measures to ensure full compliance with EU law have not yet been taken, the Commission is sending a reasoned opinion. If the Greek authorities fail to act within two months, the case may be referred to the Court of Justice of the EU.

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