Each year hundreds of thousands of songbirds are taken from the wild, and caged and trained to be used in bird singing contests. This kind of hunting called in Spanish "silvestrismo" has devastating consequences for the environment and threatens the survival of the birds themselves. 85% of songbirds die during the capture, handling and adaptation to captivity.
The EU directive bans the capture of wild birds. However under the excuse of "tradition" and due to pressure from hunting groups, who invoke a partial interpretation of the law based on captive breeding, the Spanish Government has decided to continue allowing the capture of more than 1,300,000 songbirds of species finch, linnet, goldfinch and greenfinch during the period 2013-2018.
Songbirds are considered very beneficial species for nature and agriculture, but they currently are in a state of decline from pressure from hunting, habitat loss and pollution.