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Plans to reintroduce Chaffinch trapping in the Flanders region of Belgium

sign the RBSPB online petition

A group of Belgian politicians are planning to reintroduce bird trapping in the Belgian region of Flanders. Last Tuesday, the 30 June 2006, a so-called ‘finch decree’ was presented in the Flemish parliament by MPs of the Liberal and Christian Democrat parties. This would once again legalise the trapping of finches for singing competitions until 2013. The initiative is the result of complaints by ‘bird lovers’ who have complained to their local MPs about the alleged poor quality of the song of captive bred Chaffinches.As evidence of this the would-be trappers refer to a current study in England, where a difference in singing intensity between captive-bred and wild finches has been recorded.

Alex Hirschfeld from the German Committee against Bird Slaughter (CABS) states: "The study in fact proves that the song of Chaffinches in the wild is based on strong sexual selection stress". The volume and intensity of the calls help the females in the wild to estimate the quality and health of potential partners. In captivity, where pairing as a result of random natural selection does not occur, the musical quality is at best of average quality. Hirschfeld goes on: "To use this rather banal biological fact as a reason for the reintroduction of bird trapping is outrageous and completely frivolous"Protest Action CABS, together with the Royal Belgian Society for the Protection of Birds (RBSPB), has begun a protest action. You can either sign the RBSPB online petition (drafted in Flemish) at: http://www.vogelbescherming.be/index.php?option=com_wrapper&wrap=Vinken or, which may have additional impact, send an email yourself to the political parties involved in English and Flemish - email link and text at: http://www.proact-campaigns.net/localcampaigns/chaffinch_flanders.html

David Conlin Proact

4th July 2014