Trappers get access to two more bird species

After tortoises, chameleons and other indigenous fauna, state authorities have now decided to sell off two species of wild birds to private firms that will breed them in captivity, conservationists claimed yesterday. At a joint press conference, officials from the Hellenic Ornithological Society and the Hellenic Center for the Care of Wild Animals accused the regional authority for Central Macedonia of breaking the law by allegedly issuing a permit for the trapping of goldfinches and greenfinches. Spokesmen for the two groups said the permit, which allowed birds to be caught for reproduction purposes, was illegal under Greek and European Union legislation that bans the capture of wild birds. In July, the Agriculture Ministry sold permits allowing private companies to trap Greek reptiles, amphibians and birds – including rare species.