NGO warns of devastating effects of CAP on bird populations

A study published by BirdLife International says the Common Agricultural Policy’s support to intensive farming has caused a sample of common species to decrease by 30% on average.

In a communiqué issued on 19 January during the Agriculture
Green Week (known as 'Grýche' in Germany) in Berlin,
environment NGO BirdLife International warned of the devastating
effects it believes the EU's Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) is
having on bird populations. "Birds, it says, are an excellent
barometer of the health of the wider environment".

According to a study by BirdLife, the numbers of 24 widespread
farmland birds across Europe have dropped on average by more than
30% since 1980 as a result of intensive farming. The decline, it
says, has been most severe in north-west Europe - traditionally the
EU's most intensive farming area - with rates reaching as much as
88 per cent according to the species observed. "In fact, it says,
this has been so marked you can pick out the outline of the CAP
imprinted on the distribution map" of given bird species.

The study also reveals that, in acceding countries, where the
CAP has not yet made its influence felt, decline rates are
significantly lower. It therefore urges the EU to put the
environment at the heart of its farming policy and acceding
countries to take the necessary measures to preserve bird


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