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Wild Birds

Illegal killing, trapping and trade of birds in the European Union

Illegal activities such as illegal killing, trapping or trade of birds still occur in the EU. While not being, as a general rule, the most significant threat to birds, illegal killing, trapping or trade of birds can have a very negative impact on bird populations in some specific situations (specific species or regions) and represent therefore one of the threats preventing attainment of the objectives of the Birds Directive and of the first target of the EU Biodiversity Strategy, which aims to achieve a measurable improvement in the status of species of EU conservation concern.

Although law enforcement of bird protection regulations is primarily the responsibility of Member States, this issue has an international dimension which justifies EU action. Further to Recommendation n°155 (2011) of the Standing Committee of the Bern Convention on the illegal killing, trapping and trade of wild birds, adopted on 02 December 2011, and Recommendation n° 164 (2013) on the implementation of the Tunis Action Plan 2013-2020 for the eradication of illegal killing, trapping and trade of wild birds of 10 December 2013, and consultations with Member States and stakeholders, the Commission has developed a Roadmap aimed at combating illegal killing, trapping and trade of birds. The Roadmap consists of a set of targeted actions to be carried out by Member States, stakeholders, and the Commission.

Identification of existing agricultural measures within the Common Agricultural Policy  (rural development programmes, cross-compliance under the 1st pillar of the CAP) or measures that have been piloted in LIFE projects that can contribute to reducing illegal activities. Compiled information available here: