Gassing geese in the Netherlands

10 December 2012    
Véronique Mathieu (PPE)


Can the Commission confirm that the Dutch Government has been using gas to kill geese on its land since April, with the help of EU subsidies?



Answer given by Mr Potočnik on behalf of the Commission
Killing of waterfowls and other wild birds in the Netherlands is subject to licensing under the Dutch Flora and Fauna Act of 2002, according to the derogation regime of Article 9 of Directive 2009/147/EC on the conservation of wild birds(1). In the past the Dutch authorities have granted permits on a regular basis for capturing and killing geese in order to prevent serious damages to crops or in the interest of public health and safety. The authorities have not yet informed the Commission according to Article 9.3 of Directive 2009/147/EC about the derogations granted in 2012 for killing geese, including the authorised methods. The Commission cannot therefore confirm that gas has been used to kill geese since April 2012.

Measures to control geese populations are not subject to Community co-financing. On the other hand, damage caused to crops or extra costs for the cultivation of specific crops for the winter feeding of geese can be compensated under a specific agri-environmental scheme co-financed under the Dutch rural development programme for the period 2007-2013.

(1)    OJ L 20 of 26.01.2012.