Barcelona vs. Illegal Bird Sales
The state prosecution service of Spain has announced its intentions to put to an end the sales of illegal songbirds in Barcelona area – which will almost certainly mean the end of the famous bird stalls on Las Ramblas, the city’s most famous tourist street. The Environmental agency of the country claims to have detected a massive industry in illegal sales of birds in the Barcelona area, both in the city centre and in its suburbs. Apparently most of the birds are captured by minimum-wage workers who catch them in the forests and then deliver them to the vendors for a price. The four most sold birds – which can fetch up to 3000 euros on occasion – are all finches: the chaffinch, the European goldfinch, the greenfinch and the linnet. So far the Spanish penal code punishes the capture of these birds, but not their sale – something the government now hopes to change in order to hit the illegal bird industry harder.