Parks Authority calls for swift action to curb bird poisonings

During the past six weeks, three poisoning cases have occurred, the most recent of which was discovered just last weekend.

April 21, 2015 03:56
1 minute read.

A bird flies in front of a partial solar eclipse [Illustrative]. (photo credit: REUTERS)

In light of several troublesome cases of bird poisonings in the past few weeks, Israel Nature and Parks Authority director-general Shaul Goldstein is calling upon all relevant parties to help eradicate the phenomenon.

Goldstein drafted a letter on Monday to the directors-general and officials of government bodies and environmental organizations, requesting that they urgently prioritize the matter “in order to efficiently and rapidly reduce the amount of illegal poisonings in Israel which harm nature and may also impact humans,” the INPA said.

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During the past six weeks, three poisoning cases have occurred, the most recent of which was discovered just last weekend. While two griffon vultures stricken by the poison over the weekend received treatment and were returned to nature on Sunday, two kites and one Egyptian vulture died, according to the INPA.

On March 13, meanwhile, five griffon vultures and two black vultures died of severe poisoning on the Golan Heights. Just two weeks later, on March 28, five griffon vultures died of poisoning in the country’s South, the INPA added.

“Harming these rare birds of prey is a signal of damage to their entire system,” the authority said.

Among the officials to receive Goldstein’s letter are those in the Environmental Protection Ministry, the Health Ministry, the Agriculture Ministry, the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel, Adam Teva V’Din (Israel Union for Environmental Defense) and the Knesset’s Green Lobby. Goldstein’s letter to members of these organizations followed an internal document circulated within the INPA, drafted by the authority’s chief scientist, Dr. Yehoshua Shkedi, the INPA said.

In his letter, Goldstein recommended, as a first-stage effort, enhancing the regulatory mechanisms of poison use and the enforcement against violations.

In addition, he suggested the advancement of legislation that would ease the process of convicting intentional poisoning acts, as well as legislation that would allow the use of dangerous pesticides only by certified operators.

Goldstein also expressed his support for an expedited evaluation as to how pesticides can fulfill their role in eradicating insects to support agriculture while keeping impact on other species low.

Lastly, he recommended allocating funds for the treatment of agricultural waste in open spaces, boosting manpower of inspectors who handle wildlife damage to agriculture, and solving the problem of stray dogs around the country.

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