05/05/22 Millions of Birds Die Because of Olives

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Animal Friends Croatia appeal for the rescue of the birds by purchasing Croatian olives and olive oil

- Because of night olive picking in Spain and in other countries each year millions of birds die unnecessarily.

Millions of Birds Killed by Nighttime Harvesting Of Olives [ 124.46 Kb ]

Olive picking, due to technological improvement, has encountered significant changes during the last several decades. Instead of the traditional hand picking during daylight, certain countries, powerful exporters of this tasty fruit, selected night picking with large machinery.

Night picking is the process in which bulky machines similar to vacuum cleaners, with the help of reflectors, suck in the olives directly from the trees. The problem occurs when this machinery, in addition to olives, sucks in numerous birds that rest on tree branches. Namely, various migratory birds during their migration use olive trees to rest before continuing their flight. Suddenly awakened, the animals, because of the blinding reflectors and deafening noise, are not able to adapt and fly off to safety and this is causing significant damage.

In Spain’s autonomous region of Andalusia alone, night olive picking is directly responsible for the annual death of three million migratory birds. Aside from Spain, night olive picking is also practiced by other large manufacturers such as Italy, Portugal and France. Mortality data, along with the one from Spain is also available for Portugal where this type of harvesting is fatal to around 100.000 individual birds per year. It should be noted that the numbers are not available for France and Italy, therefore, as per some scientific calculations, the number of animals killed annually could be up to ten million.

These practices are in direct conflict with the European Union Directive on Birds which prescribes legal safety for numerous protected bird species. The European Union is already aware of this problem. The legal ban on night olive picking in Spain is planned and in the implementation phase, while there are no such indications for other countries. In Croatia and in Greece night olive picking is not being practiced and the birds are not endangered.

It should be noted that presently there are no scientific researches that would be in favor of linking night olive picking to a higher quality product. Furthermore, it is justifiable to ask why olive picking cannot be held during the early morning hours. This way the possible quality would be preserved and the animals would have sufficient time to escape from the machinery and the danger.

This is why Animal Friends Croatia is strongly against this unethical way of picking and appeals to avoid buying olives and olive oil from the countries where night olive picking is being practiced.

Animal Friends Croatia believes that there is no excuse for the countless lives lost and encourages citizens to purchase olives from the countries where this cruel practice is not implemented: “Greece is known for its millennial culture of growing quality and delicious olives, and it is even better for the environment and the animals to buy olives exclusively from the Croatian manufacturers.”

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