The European Commission has requested Austria to bring its hunting legislation into line with EU legislation on the protection of wild birds. The Birds Directive (2009/147/EC) prohibits any hunting of migratory birds listed in Annex II during their period of reproduction or during their return to their rearing grounds. Member States may derogate from this requirement only in the absence of other satisfactory solutions and provided that the population of the species concerned is maintained at a satisfactory level. The Austrian provinces of Burgenland, Lower Austria and Salzburg are allowing a hunt for Woodcock (Scolopax rusticola) from 1 March until 15 April, and specifically for male Woodcock during their reproductive courtship flights. The Commission first raised its concerns in a letter of formal notice in March 2014. As the conditions for derogation have not been met and spring hunting of this species is in violation of the Birds Directive, the Commission is now sending a reasoned opinion. If Austria fails to act within two months, the case may be referred to the EU Court of Justice.
(For more information: Enrico Brivio – Tel.: +32 229 56172)
Through its hunting legislation, Finland has authorised hunting of the Eider males (a bird waterfowl specie) during their reproductive period, which is strictly forbidden under the Birds Directive. The Directive allows only the hunting of these birds only outsides of breeding or spring migration season.
Already on 22 November 2012, the EU Commission sent a letter of formal notice (first step of the infringement procedure) to Finland. Now, the Commission is sending a reasoned opinion (second step of the infringement procedure). If Finland fails to act within two months, the case may be referred to the EU Court of Justice.
More on http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_MEMO-15-4871_en.htm
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