Campaign to ban vet diclofenac; September Saker conference; Tsars & falconry; Polish exhibition; Qatar hunting expo
Keep Calm and Carrion

IAF eBulletin August 2017

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Eat, Prey, Love Vultures

IAF Supports BirdLife Call to Ban Veterinary Diclofenac in Europe

A veterinary anti-inflammatory drug could potentially wipe out European vultures - even though there are comparatively priced alternative drugs that aren't harmful to them.

In 2013 the drug was approved for use in Spain, and is now also legal in Italy - with a request pending in Portugal. Together these three countries are home to 95% of Europe's vultures.

The IAF has now officially signed a petition - launched by BirdLife International and European conservation groups - to ban veterinary diclofenac in the region.

Diclofenac was responsible for a 99% decline in the populations of four vulture species in the Indian subcontinent in the 1990s. Bans there have seen a halt in the decline.

By scavenging from waste, and digesting foods that would harm other animals and the environment, vultures save European economies millions of euros every year.

A 2014 study also detected the effects of diclofenac poisoning in Steppe eagles, suggesting there could be a risk to other non-vulture species.

Please watch and share the video below, and join the IAF in adding your signature to this campaign.

Sign the petition

Kyrgyzstan Saker Conference

The IAF will host an international conference on the conservation of the saker falcon (Falco cherrug) on Wednesday 6th and Thursday 7th September in Cholpon-Ata, Kyrgyzstan.

It will build on the work and outcomes of two previous events held in Abu Dhabi: ‘The Future of Falconry in the MENA Region’ (October 2016) and ‘Combating Illegal Trade in Falcons in the Middle East and North Africa’ (April 2017).

The aim is to advance Saker falcon conservation and specifically address the issues of illegal trade and sustainable legal trade. Speakers from stakeholders across the saker range will include falconers, biologists and experts in sustainable use.

More information and the full programme

Exhibitions: Russia, Poland, Qatar

Hood on display

The Tsars' Amusement

An exhibition on falconry has opened in Moscow, on the site of a historically important hunting ground.

The exhibition 'Falconry: the Tsar's Amusement with Hunting Birds of Prey' will run until 18 January 2018, in Kolomenskoye Park in the Russian capital.

Kolomenskoye village was a favoured summer residence and hunting ground, gaining importance particularly during the reign of Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich Romanov (1645 - 1676), a renowned falconer. Visitors to the exhibition can view over 200 items, dating from the 11th century to the present day.

Dick ten Bosch, Director of the Falconry Heritage Trust (FHT), who attended the opening event with many other falconers, said, "The focus is on the falconry of the tsars where Kolomenskoye as a historic site played a role in the past.

"It is a mix of ancient documents from the state archives regarding falconry, archeological falconry finds (hoods from the 12th century), 19th century hunting art of great quality and maps and pictures of the various hunting fields and lodges near Moscow.

"There is also a extensive display of modern falconry equipment and of historic hunting weapons from the Kremlin museum. Everything is displayed and explained beautifully."

Stuffed goshawk on glove in front of mural of 18th c. falconry scene
Coin showing a falconer

CHWAL ĆWIK! The Living Tradition of Falconry

IAF Vice-president for Europe Janusz Sielicki writes:

This exhibition on the customs of hunting with birds of prey is a first for Poland, and marks the recent entry of falconry onto the country’s List of Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH).

It will run from 9 June to 29 October 2017 in the theatre building of the palace and park complex in Kozłówka, accompanied by a photographic show entitled ‘Eagles, Falcons ... on Camera’.

It will then move to the Museum of Hunting and Horsemanship in Warsaw, where it will be open from 16 November 2017 to the end of April 2018.

Tapestry of houbara-hawking scene

The exhibition is being held under the patronage of Sławomir Sosnowski, Marshal of Lublin Province, with the support of the National Heritage Institute, the Association for Wild Animals “Falcon”, the National Club of Falconers of the Polish Hunting Association “Falconers Nest”, and the IAF.

This venture has been prepared not only as an important event in falconry circles, but also as a way to bring this environmentally and artistically remarkable topic closer to a public audience, by presenting to them the custom of training birds of prey in Poland, and the history of their use in hunting.

Heraldic stone carving depicting falcon and dog

With the help of specialists, we have also tried to show how falconry “gives hunting wings” and to contribute to efforts to enter Polish falconry onto UNESCO’s world ICH list.

The displays include a wide range of items, all the way from artefacts of the early Medieval period right up to contemporary art.

You can see some pictures from the official opening here.

(Photos in this article courtesy of Marta Grzeszczak-Szyszka.)

Drone flying low

Katara International Hunting and Falcons Exhibition

Algannas Qatar Falconry Society has extended an invitation to all IAF Members to attend the First Katara International Hunting & Falcons Exhibition.

The exhibition, held by the Cultural Village Foundation, Katara, will take place 20-24 September 2017.

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