Let the birds fly freely

Prosecutors in Songjiang District have issued suggestions to crack down on illegal bird hunting.

Prosecutors in Songjiang District have issued guidelines to district greenery authorities to crack down on illegal bird-hunting, the Songjiang District People’s Procuratorate said on Thursday.

In the past two years, the procuratorate has investigated more than 50 public-interest litigation cases and pursued 18 cases after investigation. Nearly 80 percent of cases were about ecological and environmental protection.

In April, the procuratorate received reports from the public about illegally setting nets to catch birds and other wild animals in several woods in Songjiang's Punan area.

The procuratorate soon registered it as a public-interest lawsuit and launched an investigation.

Investigations found that between November 2018 and March 2019, more than 200 bird-hunting nets had been set in woods in the Punan area and killed many wild birds, including some of the city’s most protected, such as the light-vented bulbul, Naumann's thrush and the spotted dove.

Prosecutors suggested authorities send more workers to enforce wildlife protection regulations and step up surveillance.

Tougher punishment should be handed out to hunters and those whose deeds can be considered as crime should be sent to police.

Three animal protection volunteers who reported transgressions to the procuratorate were also awarded on Thursday.

One of the three, Jiang Long, told Shanghai Daily that he and the other team members started to pay attention to illegal hunting in the Punan area eight years ago and posted some of their findings online. 

“This year Songjiang prosecutors saw my postings and contacted me to learn about the illegal bird hunting,” he said.

Earlier, the procuratorare also sent suggestions to related watchdogs on water and riverbank pollution at the crossing area between two creeks in Sijing Town and a stinky creek in a residential community.

Let the birds fly freely
Ti Gong

A bird trapped by a net in Songjiang’s Punan area

Let the birds fly freely
Ti Gong

A bird caught in a net in Songjiang’s Punan area

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