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Parliamentary questions
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27 February 2019
Question for written answer E-001042-19
to the Commission
Rule 130
Miguel Viegas (GUE/NGL)

 Subject:  Bird deaths in high-intensity olive harvests
 Answer in writing 

In areas of high-intensity olive farming, freshly harvested batches of olives often contain hundreds of dead birds that have been sucked up by machines at night. To make the most of diurnal birds’ natural periods of rest, harvesting machines operate at night. However, the noise and light that they give off represent a danger to the birds, blinding them and preventing them from escaping. Many die as a result. The ICNF (Portuguese Institute for Nature Conservation and Forests) estimates that, on average, 6.4 birds are killed per hectare. A number of associations have called for a ban on night-time harvesting, arguing that this practice violates the Birds Directive. However, many new olive grove plantations have been financed with EU support.

What does the Commission make of the impact that high-intensity olive harvests have on birds? Are any measures being taken to mitigate this issue? In particular, would the Commission consider introducing new rules in this sector to change how funds for intensive and high-intensity olive harvests are governed?

Original language of question: PT 
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