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Austria allows illegal hunting of woodcock,last call from EU

Vienna is not respecting Birds directive, has to act within two

29 May, 14:34

(ANSA) - BRUSSELS - The European Commission has requested Austria to bring its hunting legislation into line with EU Directive on the protection of wild birds, in this case the woodcock. If Austria fails to act within two months, the case may be referred to the EU Court of Justice.


The Birds Directive prohibits any hunting of migratory birds listed in the law 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 EU 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, Brussels is now sending a reasoned opinion. (ANSA).

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