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Parliamentary questions
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2 August 2018
Answer given by Mr Vella on behalf of the European Commission
Question reference: E-003262/2018

According to Article 5 of the Birds Directive(1), the deliberate disturbance of birds, particularly during the period of breeding and rearing, is prohibited in so far as disturbance would be significant having regard to the objectives of the directive.

Disturbance caused by forest activities including felling operations will not necessarily always be significant. However, depending on their intensity and scale as well as on local circumstances, this may well be the case. Some Member States have produced guidelines(2) to avoid significant disturbance caused by forest activities. A general interpretation that felling operations in commercial forests during the bird nesting season do not constitute deliberate disturbance as referred to in Article 5 of the Birds Directive would not be in accordance with that directive.

The European Commission was not aware of the memo by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MMM 2000:8) and of the interpretation therein. The European Commission services will contact the Finnish authorities in order to seek clarifications.

(1)Council Directive 2009/147/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 30 November 2009 on the conservation of wild birds, OJ L 20, 26.1.2010, p. 7‐25.

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