Italian police try to save songbirds that are illegally hunted every year
According to estimates, from 11 to 36 million songbirds every year are illegally killed or caught through the Mediterranean countries. And more than 5 million birds per year are unlawful hunted in Italy. This is considered the largest number compared to any European country. Bird species are usually killed in secret or caught alive right in nets. Sometimes they are simply shot.
Despite the fact that hunting songbirds is illegal, their catching has long been a problem. This is a profitable business as hunters can earn from 3 euros for a dead bird to 100 euros for a live bird. But the price may differ, depending on the species.
The problem matters not only because of the number of hunters but also the cruelty of their methods. In some regions of Italy, bow traps are still used. Bow traps are easy to overlook because it is very similar to a branch. And when a bird grounds on its victim, the trap closes. As a result, the bird has broken legs and then dies, suffering the pain.
However hunting is illegal, shooters have a list of 39 species of birds they can legitimately shoot when the official hunting season begins. And due to the huge number of licensed hunters, about 20,000 of those who kill preserved by the law species of birds can do it without fear of being caught.
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