The plenary session of the International Humanist and Ethical Union being held at Amsterdam on the 9th of August 1974 unanimously passed the following motion proposed by the Board:
Yearly many millions of birds of passage take care of the disappearance of big surpluses of insects in Europe and Northern Africa, thus maintaining the ecological equilibrium.
Many insects having developed resistance against chemical insecticides, the role of the birds of passage in this respect becomes more and more important.
Since 1968 however a rapid decrease of at least a dozen species of the migratory birds has been ascertained in Europe.
This is especially due to the unlimited hunting of these birds in Italy (and to a minor degree in some other European countries) causing the death of more than 250,000,000 births per year.
1: The IHEU therefore urgently requests the Council of Europe (respectively its member states) to organise a conference on this subject in which both Western and Eastern European states are invited to participate.
2: The IHEU therefore urgently requests the Italian Government pending the conclusions of this Conference to forbid immediately the hunting of birds of passage.
IHEU Congress 1974
'The extermination of birds of passage', Humanists International, World Humanist Congress, Amsterdam, Netherlands, 1974