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Trained dog to search for poisoned animal baits in Czech nature

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Jihlava, South Moravia, Jan 23 (CTK) – Poisoned baits laid out to catch otters, martens and foxes, of which birds of prey often die as well, will start to be searched out by the first specially trained dog within the LIVE EU-subsidised international project this year, Vojtech Kodet said yesterday.
Kodet is deputy chairman of the Czech Society for Ornithology (CSO), which will use the dog.
Ornithologists say the number of poisoned wild animals has been rising. Dozens of them are found annually, but this is but the tip of the iceberg.
This is confirmed by the experience of Hungary, which has already used special dogs for some time.
The dog will start to be used in the Czech Republic this autumn with the help of the more experienced Hungarians.
The Environment Ministry is preparing the first National Strategy of Fighting the Illegal Killing of Animals Living in the Wild, which is mainly focused on the poisoning of the animals.
The government is to discuss the strategy by the year’s end.
An inter-ministerial working group for the strategy has been meeting since last year. Its meeting in Telc, south Moravia, was attended by Environment Minister Jiri Brabec and representatives of specialist state institutions, the police and NGOs.
The poisoned baits are probably laid by fishermen, huntsmen and farmers who have problems with otters, martens and foxes. Birds of prey that feed on cadavers are the unwitted victims.
The CSO recorded 34 cases of poisoned birds last year. But it only learns about the death of the rarest protected species.
Last year’s victims included 12 white-tailed eagles and one golden eagle.

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