Crow hunting

Officials in Styria are taking matters in hand over the massive number of crimes in Austria and have authorised hunters to shoot 17,000 of the birds.

The decision comes after a record number of complaints from farmers about the birds – and will mean that the crows can be shot between 1 July and 31 December.

But for the so-called bachelor birds which hang around in groups and are not breeding this year the shooting can take place between 14 April and 30 March next year.

Earlier in the year the Austrian Times reported about how record numbers of the crows were causing problems in the country in a blog that was written about in media from Australia through to the United Kingdom.

Agricultural Councillor in Styria Johann Seitinger (ÖVP) said it was high time for the rules to be introduced.

He said: “I am not just talking about the massive damage to crops by the crows that not only steal seed but damage young plants. We’re talking about damage of about half a million Euros here. But we are also noticing how other bird numbers are being decimated by the crows. It’s amazing how much damage they are really causing. Even in cities they rip chunks out of buildings.”

The new law means every district has a number of crows that can be shot by local hunters and farmers.