Is my report still sitting on an office desk? has it even been passed on? And if it has been passed on, is anyone at Seprona interested or am I just some interfering foreigner?
Many thanks to those of you who have contacted me with your views but you can see from the above how frustrating this is. As you say, anywhere else in northern Europe and action might be taken. Bird trapping in this manner would be illegal. However, being the ever-increasing cynic that I am rapidly becoming, I have come to the conclusion that European Law may be meant for all member states but that each country has its own "excuse" why one particular piece of legislation or another does not apply to them. Amazing how they all like to quote "historical precedence" and "ancient and traditional customs", etc.to justify why they should be exempt.
|Spotted Flycatcher caught on lime stick|
I am told that in Spain you can obtain a licence that will permit you to take up to five small songbirds a day! Is there a closed season? Also, the catching should be done under supervision but it is usual for this last bit to be ignored.
For more information and a ghastly account of the process - and undertaken in the same Rio Velez area in 2009 - follow this links for Neill Carden's account. You will be appalled and, even mores so, at the attitude taken by most authorities! The answer always seems to be to telephone 112 and ask for Seprona to attend. Who are we kidding? With many public employees, including the Guardia Civil, not being paid or having to wait months for their due remuneration because there is no money, what chance that anyone will take any notice if you live away from the major cities.
|A plate of Flycatchers or similar|
http://www.birdguides.com/webzine/article.asp?a=1542 (A must see report on the subject)
And the law? The following two articles may help but, I suspect, are more likely to draw a wry smile to your face!
Infringements of EU law
Each Member State is responsible for the implementation of EU law (adoption of implementing measures before a specified deadline, conformity and correct application) within its own legal system. Under the Treaties (Article 258 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU); Article 141 of the Euratom Treaty), the Commission of the European Communities is responsible for ensuring that EU law is correctly applied. Consequently, where a Member State fails to comply with EU law, the Commission has powers of its own (action for non-compliance) to try to bring the infringement to an end and, where necessary, may refer the case to the European Court of Justice.
Brussels, 24 June 2010
Environment: Commission welcomes Spanish compliance with bird protection rules; infringement procedure closed.
The European Commission has welcomed appropriate action by the Spanish authorities in a case where Spain had been in breach of its obligations under EU nature protection rules, and has closed the infringement procedure. The case concerns a long running dispute with Spanish authorities over the designation of areas for the protection of birds, after numerous shortcomings identified by the Commission have finally been resolved. The EU's Court of Justice had ordered Spain to comply with the legislation in question, and a considerable expansion of protected areas means that the case can now be closed.
|Sad to say, you can still hear of small birds served in Spanish restyaurants.|
The case, open for more than a decade, concerns protected areas for birds, one of the cornerstones of Europe's Natura 2000 network, in numerous areas in Spain. Andalusia, the Balearics, and the Canaries, Castilla-La Mancha, Catalonia, Galicia and Valencia did not offer adequate protection for species listed in the Birds Directive. The failings were confirmed by a ruling from the Court of Justice in 2007, which ordered Spain to make good the shortcomings.
Good progress was made in Castilla-La Mancha and the Canary Islands, but slower progress in the other regions meant that the Court judgment could not be regarded as fully implemented. The case continued, with the Commission pressing Spain to implement the ruling in full. But in recent months new protected areas have been introduced in some of the affected regions, and existing ones enlarged in others. The Commission is therefore satisfied that the ruling has been fully implemented, and the case has now been closed.
It seems to me at times as if we are living in an alternative planet to soma of these legislators and functionaries.
Enough said on the subject; let's back to some real birding. Las Norias on Thursday so, hopefully, plenty of ducks and members of the heron family and then off to Extremadura next week.