Keep Calm and Carrion

IAF March 2020 eBulletin

Thanks to volunteer translators, this eBulletin is available in other languages. If you would like to take part, email . If your language does not appear, we upload  late translations onto the Facebook page

Important note to delegates, to club representatives and to translators: please don't forget to forward this eBulletin to your club members and all the falconer you know, especially the many language versions, even if it is by a "share" on social media - you will magnify the falconer's voice!


Letter from the President of the International Association for Falconry and Conservation of Birds of Prey

Dear Friends,

I know that we are all watching the development of the coronavirus pandemic with feelings of concern and uncertainty and it is needless to say that the last few month have been very challenging as we grapple with the health and safety effects of the virus spread, I sincerely hope you haven’t been affected by this.

Our hearts and thoughts go out to the people who have been affected by this unprecedented event and we appreciate the healthcare workers, local communities, and governments around the world who are on the front line working to contain this coronavirus.

Even though you may will now be distanced from your family, friends and/or colleagues, please stay in touch with each other and offer each other the necessary support because we will always remain a close family bound by our passion for the art of falconry wherever we are or go.

With sincerest regards,

Majed Al Mansoori

Egypt: talks with government

Members of the Raptors Club of Egypt sat with IAF Vice-president for MENA, Karim Rousselon, and officials of government departments, chaired by Dr. Mostafa Fouda and then Dr. Osama elGebaly, both representing H.E.Yasmine Fouad, Egypt's Minister of Environmental Affairs.

While falconry has been practiced in Egypt for centuries, if not millennia, in modern times its legal status has been uncertain. These important talks clarified that falconry is hunting with a bird of prey, that it is accepted under the international conservations conventions and that international legislation exists to permit it.

Illegal trade is a big problem throughout the region and putting in place a proper action plan for raptor conservation in Egypt was seen as a priority. Raptors Club of Egypt and the IAF hope to work closely with the Egyptian Ministry of Environmental Affairs towards this end.

Future use for raptor food of day-old chickens in Europe

There has been some speculation on social media about the use of day-old chicks as raptor food, that they were about to be banned in Europe. Here is a reply from the European Commission to a written question from the French MEP Aurelia Beigneux, on whether legal measures will be taken to stop the killing of day-old chicks: Question for written answer E-003965/19. 

Answer given by Ms Kyriakides on behalf of the European Commission

"The European Food Safety Authority report on the killing of poultry (1) points out a number of hazards associated with the use of killing methods for male day-old chicks of laying hens breeds. Any method currently available has pros and cons and the EU legislation (2) establishes a balance between the welfare of animals and available practices.

The Commission is aware of the research on egg sexing; some of the ongoing projects being supported by the EU (3). However, at present, there is no alternative commercially available to the killing of day-old chicks.

The Commission will continue to closely monitor future developments in this area and to fully support animal welfare policies with any relevant results from research and innovation activities."

FACE - Strong start for the "Biodiversity, Hunting, Countryside" Intergroup

The European Federation for Hunting and Conservation (FACE) serves as secretariat of the "Biodiversity, Hunting, Countryside" Intergroup since its first establishment in 1985. The European Landowners' Organization (ELO) joined as co-secretariat in 2004, bringing its expertise on countryside-related topics.

Members of the group met to lay the basis for their work this parliamentary term. The Intergroup will be instrumental in bringing together the perspectives of key rural actors in shaping major policy discussions on the next EU Biodiversity Strategy, the reform of the EU Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and the Green Deal.

Álvaro Amaro (Portugal, EPP) was elected President of the Intergroup, with Simone Schmiedtbauer (Austria, EPP), Alex Agius Saliba (Malta, S&D), Elsi Katainen (Finland, Renew Europe), Marco Dreosto (Italy, ID), Andżelika Możdżanowska (Poland, ECR), Carmen Avram (Romania, S&D), Jérémy Decerle (France, Renew Europe),  Juan Ignacio Zoido Álvarez (Spain, EPP) and Annie Schreijer-Pierik (Netherlands, EPP) as Vice-Presidents.

The newly elected President, Álvaro Amaro stated: "I accepted to lead the team that worked to re-establish the Intergroup, which consists of 10 members in total, from 10 different Member States and 5 different political groups comprising of 5 men and 5 women. This provides a wide geographical and ideological scope as well as a perfect gender balance!" He added: "With more than 130 supporting MEPs from all major political groups, the Intergroup is an active stakeholder platform within the European Parliament, enabling open discussions between decision-makers, the European Commission and experts, aiming to affirm the crucial role of rural actors and the socio-economic importance of hunting and countryside activities".

A list of experts on all topics related to falconry

We are putting together a list of national and international experts; at the moment it will be just names and areas of expertise. This project is because there is nothing wrong in not knowing about something, just so long as you know who you can consult who does know about it.

We are redesigning our website to store as much knowledge as we can about topics relevant to us as falconers. This will mean we can be the primary source that the public, government officials and falconers consult, before being redirected, through links, to more specialist sites.

We are prioritizing what knowledge should be available, starting by making a list of experts in all the relevant fields, for example: conservation, history, veterinary, breeding, laws, culture, regions, branches of falconry etc., etc. so we need a list of topics first. All of those listed above can be broken down further and added to, according to your thoughts.

The experts should come from all regions and languages. IAF is well represented by different language groups, so we should be able to suggest a lot of people, not just from the English speaking world. When we have a significant list of names and expertise, we hope to be able to forward queries to the best expert we can on any given topic. As gaps in our knowledge on our website become apparent, we can try to find experts to fill them.

Please suggest experts and additional topics (including yourself, if you are one !) using the online form

 Remember: this idea comes about because it is not possible to know everything, but it is possible to know other people who, between them, do.

International Falconry Calendar:

The IAF Communications and PR group will be composing an online worldwide calendar of important falconry related events such as IAF meets, conferences and club meets. This will help clubs organize their events so that they dont overlap and so that visitors may attend several falconry meets, fostering the exchange between members of the global falconry community in different countries. We would like all IAF member organizations to send us details of their upcoming meets and major events or conferences that they are aware of in 2020. Please send any information to

Irish Hawking Club November Celebrations

This year marks the 160th anniversary of an Irish Hawking Club that was established in Dublin in August 1860 and also the 10th anniversary of Falconry receiving UNESCO inscription as an Intangible Cultural Heritage. To celebrate these milestones in our history, the Irish Hawking Club will hold a Falconry exhibition for the month of November at the Phoenix Park visitor centre in Dublin city. The Phoenix Park is the largest enclosed recreational area in any European city and was originally founded by falconer, James Butler, 12th Earl of Ormonde in 1662 where it was stocked with deer and game for “hound and hawk”.

The opening weekend (31st Oct / 1st Nov) will feature a series of talks on various falconry topics with admission free to all. For further information, please contact the Irish Hawking Club at,

13th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species

Gandhinagar from 15 to 22 February 2020. From the left: Janusz Sielicki, IAF Vicepresident, IAF Conservation Officer, Saker Task Force and Energy Task Force member, Collin Galbraith, Chairman of the Scientific Council of the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS), Lyle Glowka, CMS Office Abu Dhabi Executive Coordinator, Dr Hany Tatwany, Vicepresident of Saudi Wildlife Authority, CMS Focal Point KSA, Saker Task Force member.

IAF made a presentation at the Saker Task Force side event. It was obvious that the falconry community is the most active community in saker conservation worldwide. The Mongolian artificial nest project, the School-link Project and the electrocution survey were all started even before the Saker Global Action Plan was adopted.  IAF co-financed the saker conservation portal and the specialists portal, a series of satellite tracking surveys and we are especially active in fighting against electrocution. IAF initiated the IUCN Resolution WCC-2016-Rec-098-EN “Preventing electrocution and collision impacts of power infrastructure on birds” adopted by the IUCN Congress Hawaii 2016. IAF started a portal and a dedicated brochure on electrocution, available in 14 languages to alert responsible organizations and authorities and to promote solutions.

A small crowdfunding project started by the Mongolian Falconry Association proved how effectively we can protect birds from electrocution. The Mohammed Bin Zayed Raptor Conservation Fund, launched by Abu Dhabi in 2018 is financing a one million USD project to retrofit all dangerous distribution lines in Mongolia. This is for sure the largest project in the world targetting electrocution, and the first one which can effectively save the species.

Another important area of IAF activities is cooperation with IFC (International Finance Corporation), the World Bank institution, on guidance for preventing electrocution on distributions lines (6-110 kV). Once adopted this will be the guidance for international investment institutions and circa 100 private banks. The aim is that all new lines will be bird safe.   We hope that governments will use this as well. A very good example is that the Government of Saudi Arabia has included bird-safe poles into their national standard of Environment Impact Assessment. 

There are new initiatives by falconers to fight illegal Trade in Birds of Prey. IAF put together Joint Workshop Against Illegal Trade in Birds of Prey in Abu Dhabi, 27 August 2019, in collaboration with the Emirates Falconers’ Club, and the International Fund for Houbara Conservation. The final Statement calls for the implementation of CMS Resolution 11.16 (Rev. COP12) on the Prevention of Illegal Killing, Taking and Trade of Migratory Birds including establishing a Regional Task Force to address the illegal killing, taking and trade in wild birds of prey including promoting legal and sustainable use and trade and building on the experience of the CMS Task Force on IKB for the Mediterranean region (MIKT).

At this huge event, the Falconers' role in saker conservation was highly appreciated in the discussions. CMS COP13 took decisions on updating some of the resolutions and adopted new ones. The role of financing institutions in solving bird electrocution was proposed by IAF and adopted by Energy Task Force into the update of the Resolution on electrocution at this CMS COP13.

IAF also intervened in cases of proposals to prevent legal sustainable use of CMS Appendix I species, which includes saker falcons. Anti-use groups tried to limit the legal use of those species in few resolutions, especially one related to Article III of the CMS, which was very dangerous for falconry. Fortunately, we managed to stop those proposals with help of other pro-sustainable use organizations and some country representatives, especially of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

CMS COP13 showed again how important is a strong IAF presence at all international conservation conventions. The only way to be listened to, is to be present. Without our presence there, some decisions  could have been adopted that would prove fatal for falconry


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