Hundreds Of Birds Found Dead After New Year's Eve Fireworks In Rome
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A video shows birds lying on the ground of the Italian capital's Via Cavour, which is near the busy Termini train station, with the driver who captured the footage referring to the scene as 'an embarrassing thing, a sad, incredible thing'.
While the cause of death of the birds - which were mostly starlings - has not been confirmed, animals rights groups say the 'massacre' appeared to be related to a loud display of firecrackers and fireworks in the leafy neighbourhood that many birds use to nest.
The Italian branch of the International Organization for the Protection of Animals (OIPA) has called for a ban on selling firecrackers and fireworks for personal use, arguing they pose a threat to animals.
OIPA spokeswoman Loredana Diglio, said: "It can be that they died from fear. They can fly up together and knock against each other, or hit windows or electric power lines. Let's not forget they can also die of heart attacks."
A Facebook post from OIPA referred to the ongoing issue as a 'New Year's War', saying this year's festivities killed 'hundreds of birds' which had chosen trees near the Termini station and the 'upper part of Via Cavour' as their homes.
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OIPA President Massimo Comparotto said: "Every year we repeat that the sale of firecrackers and fireworks must not be allowed. The rules are useless, there is no control. Every year we count hundreds of specimens who died among the wild animals and other pets lost or injured."
Comparotto said it was 'time for the legislator to rectify the chaos', adding: "It's a matter of health, public order and, above all, of civility."
The UK's Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) says the effect of firework displays on birds is 'little different from that of a thunderstorm', but that setting off fireworks close to nesting and roosting birds can cause 'disturbance'.
"To minimise any adverse impact of fireworks on birds, we urge organisers of firework displays to avoid launching the rockets near to sensitive wildlife areas, such as nature reserves, and nesting and roosting sites for wild birds," it says on its website.
In the UK, it is an offence under the Wildlife and Countryside Act to recklessly or intentionally disturb a Schedule 1 species while it is in, on or near a nest during the breeding season.
"Where people are aware Schedule 1 species are nesting in the area, such as barn owls, then they need to take necessary steps to try and ensure no disturbance is caused," the RSPB adds.
Featured Image Credit: OIPA
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