Category Archives: Law

Dutch Police Catch Raptor Killers

The police in the Dutch town of Aarle-Rixtel last week arrested three people in connection with illegal killing of birds of prey. Two men and one woman were apprehended after an investigation into the poisoning deaths of six buzzards found in nearby parkland.

During a search of the suspects’ house, dead pigeons and poison were found. The pigeons were used to bait the birds of prey.

In nearby Laarbeek a day earlier the police arrested a man for killing a Northern Goshawk. The man, who was caught red-handed, explained he was eliminating raptors in order to preserve the other wildlife in the area.

The man also used dead pigeons to lure the birds of prey into cages. Once caught, he would kill the birds. Authorities were able to save a buzzard and some crows which sat in his cages.

AID en politie pakken illegale roofvogeljagers
Inspection Service and police catch illegal raptor hunters

Share the birds, share the love!
Posted in Law, Netherlands | Leave a comment

The Trouble With Foie Gras

Foie gras (pronounced fwah grah), the fattened liver of an overfed duck or goose, is considered one of the great delicacies of French cuisine. It is a luxury product with a meaty, nutty taste and a velvety texture. Unfortunately, the method used for producing the treat is horrible and cruel.

Waterfowl, either geese or ducks, are force fed large amounts of grain by means of a metal pipe forced down the esophagus. The force feeding enlarges the bird’s liver, up to 10 times the normal size. The bird is then slaughtered and the enlarged liver is removed to make foie gras.

The practice of over-feeding birds to produce a fattened, tasty liver, may date back to 2500 B.C. Egypt, where reliefs of the practice have been found on ancient tombs.

Today, 80% of the world’s foie gras is produced in France. Quebec also has a large foie gras industry.

Because birds do not chew and have no gag reflex, they can easily be force fed large amounts of food. In the final stage of feeding, the birds are force fed for 12 to 18 days, two to three times per day. The force feeding causes large amounts of fat to accumulate in the liver, which produces the buttery consistency of foie gras.

The forceful methods used to feed the birds sometimes result in damaged esophagi, which can lead to a slow and painful death. The birds may choke on regurgitated food, or bleed to death. The average (pre-slaughter) mortality rate for birds on foie gras farms is up to 20 times higher than duck farms which do not produce foie gras. Veterinarians have also claimed that a bird carrying an enlarged liver may suffer “unspeakable pain and suffering.” Birds with enlarged livers may also be unable to stand upright or walk.

In late 2003, a consortium of French animal rights groups claimed that the practice of force feeding birds is already illegal under existing animal protection laws of France and the European Union. The EU law states that “reasonable steps (must be taken)… to ensure that … animals are not caused unnecessary pain, suffering or injury.” Foie gras producers affirm that force feeding does not constitute pain or suffering of the ducks and geese. Industry groups and researchers claim that animals even appreciate the feeding method.

One alternative method of producing a similar food suggests the surgical removal of livers from birds which have died of natural causes, and soaking them in mixtures of gelatin, alcohol and buttermilk.

Foie gras is illegal in several jurisdictions. Force feeding is already prohibited in the following countries: Argentina; the Czech Republic; Denmark; Finland; Germany; Ireland; Italy; Luxembourg; Norway; Poland; Sweden; Switzerland; the Netherlands; and the United Kingdom. Israel was the world’s third largest producer of the product when it was banned there in March 2005. Legislation is currently pending in California. Force feeding in that state is slated to become illegal in 2012. The sale of foie gras will also be illegal, if the method of production includes force feeding. Foie gras is currently served in about 300 California restaurants.

Foie gras has been produced in the state of New York at Hudson Valley Foie Gras since 1989. The company distributes the product nationwide. The ASPCA has filed charges against the company in the past for the force-feeding of ducks, but so far the District Attorney involved has not taken action.

Related articles:
Gourmet Cruelty
Stop Force Feeding
Does a Duck Have a Soul?
An ending made in Hollywood for an epic fight over foie gras
Welfare Aspects of the Production of Foie Gras in Ducks and Geese

Foie gras
What is Foie Gras?
Debunking The Myths
How Foie Gras Is Produced
California Bans Foie-Gras Force-Feeding
Israel Bans Force-Feeding Geese For Foie-Gras

Share the birds, share the love!
Posted in Law | 1 Comment

Golden Egg Action Tries To Stop Egg Thievery

The Dutch radio program Vroege Vogels (“Early Birds”) announced a competition this weekend which will award the finder of the first Northern Lapwing egg in Friesland this year: The Golden Egg.

It is a tradition in the Dutch province Friesland to steal eggs from the Northern Lapwing. In earlier times the tradition was that the first egg should be brought to the queen. Queen Juliana stopped this practice in 1970, but the tradition to steal the eggs continued.

Since last year, stealing the eggs is illegal under EU regulations. However, some towns in Friesland have applied for and received exceptions to the law. In the month of March citizens may take up to 15 eggs per person. Friesland is the only area in Europe where the practice is allowed. Each year the case between the traditionalists and nature & animal protection groups goes to court.

The action from Vroege Vogels rewards the finder of the first egg – but the egg must remain in the nest. The finder of the egg will be rewarded as long as the parent bird also remains by the nest. The prize is a 14k gold broche. They hope to promote the cause of animal protection by rewarding those who would not steal eggs.

Source: Gouden kievitseitje

Share the birds, share the love!
Posted in Law, Netherlands | Leave a comment

European Parliament Wants More Space For Chickens

The coops for poultry chickens should be larger, according to a statement made by the European Parliament this Tuesday. The proposal was made by Dutch politician Thijs Berman.

Chickens should have about 10 percent more space by 2013, according to the Parliament. The current standard says that chickens of 38kg need to have one meter of space. That weight class will be lowered to 34kg. With this new regulation the Parliament sends a clear message that animal well-being is important, according to a spokesperson.

Critics of the plan say that more research should be done on the impact of increased space. Another fear is that European chicken farmers will not be able to compete with Brazilian farmers.

Source: Europarlement: grotere hokken voor vleeskippen

Share the birds, share the love!
Posted in Europe, Law | Leave a comment

Belgium: Protected Birds Shot & Poisoned

In the last few weeks dozens of protected birds have been illegally shot or poisoned in Beglium. The culprits are hunters, who consider the birds of prey to be “competitors”. The bird protection group Vogelbescherming Vlaanderen has asked the government to take action.

On Friday a forest ranger from the natural area Opglabbeek found a dead red kite, a rarely seen raptor. The bird was shot and had lead in the chest and leg area.

A spokesperson for Vogelbescherming Vlaanderen said, “Every year, just before the breeding period, many birds of prey are shot and poisoned. The poisoned birds eat bait set out for foxes.”

Vogelbescherming also points out that the poison is a health hazard for humans. The poisons release dangerous toxins in the atmosphere, like strychnine and carbofuran.

Beschermde vogels geschoten en vergiftigd

Share the birds, share the love!
Posted in Europe, Law | Leave a comment

Goose Hunting Legal Again In Netherlands’ Friesland

After four years of protection, goose hunting is again legal in the northern Dutch province of Friesland. The government there has granted 1400 permits to hunt geese.

Each winter geese come to the Netherlands, some after a journey of thousands of kilometers, to spend the winter in the milder climate. According to the province, the hunt will protect agricultural lands from damage caused by the birds, although it will be allowed to shoot birds in flight as well as those residing in farmers? fields. Also according to the province, the birds who survive the hunt will learn which in which fields they should not land.

Source: Friesland als eindstation

Share the birds, share the love!
Posted in Aside, Law, Netherlands | Leave a comment