Supreme Court to decide fate of 23 foreign crows

The supreme court will decide on Wednesday whether or not to sanction the cull of a type of crow found in Zuid-Holland province, because it is allegedly a threat to other birds.

The house crow (Corvus splendens), which originates in Asia, probably arrived in the Netherlands by ship and established itself in Hoek van Holland.

‘They get on a boat and conquer the world,’ Norman Deans of animal protection group Faunabescherming told Nos television. ‘At least that is what they try to do… but they have not really succeed in the Netherlands.’


However, the Zuid-Holland provincial authority wants to kill the birds and has asked junior environment minister Sharon Dijksma for the go-ahead. She told parliament last year the birds are a potential plague. ‘Taking action now will stop a lot of future problems,’ she said.

Lower courts have approved the cull but the animal protection group has taken the issue to the country’s highest legal authority.

Deans says the minister’s claims are not based on fact. Last year, just 23 house crows were counted, down from 29 the year before. Their current numbers are not sufficient to ensure a healthy population, Deans told Nos.

The birds were a protected species but Dijksma has removed their official protection. Deans says this is an attempt to influence judges. ‘This no longer about whether the birds are undesirable exotics or not but whether or not the minister has overstepped the mark,’ he said.

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