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Poaching increases under COVID restrictions

According to Márton Árvay, from the Hungarian Ornithological and Nature Conservation Association, the illegal hunting of birds of prey, which had gradually decreased in Hungary up to the beginning of the year thanks to several animal protection projects, saw its downward trend reverse under the COVID-19 restrictions, writes

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The Ornithological Society registered 77 animal poisonings between January and April, nearly double the average for the past four years.

According to Árvay, it’s hard to say what might be behind the growing number of cases, but perhaps one reason may be that “people say the police were too busy during the epidemic to deal with poaching.”

Sudden economic difficulties may have also played a role in the phenomenon, as many tried to earn income through poaching, the website notes.