MIGRATORY birds may not find their
return journey to their homelands in
Europe as hazardous as before. The
European Parliament, after a heated
debate, has finally agreed for the hunting season to close on January 31 each
year. 'Environmentalists and anti-hunters won the day after the amendment to close the European'Union (EU)
hunting season was passed, by just
nine votes on February 15. The original
1979 directive on the conservation of
birds had been worded rather simply,
calling for a prohibition on hunting during the migratory season.
The birds, after their winter sojourn, are often the targets of attack across the,Eurbpean countries including France, Greece, Germany and Finland. Until now,' EU countries had different closing deadlines for the hunting season. While most migratory birds return to breeding grounds across Europe in February, many others return earlier in January and December.
Says Maarte van Putten, a member of the European Parliament and a keen bird-lover, "These are the birds that deliver the next generation. Hu ,nting them during migration can have a seriously disruptive effect on their ability to breed successfulW."
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