in Spain, the discipline is in the sights of bird defenders

By Le Figaro with AFP

Published ,

Padel is a growing sport. Baptiste Autissier / PANORAMIC

A very popular sport in Spain, padel is in the sights of animal defenders but also of the justice system because of the high mortality that its grounds cause among birds.

The padelan extremely popular racket sport in Spain, is in the sights of animal defenders but also of the justice system, due to the high mortality caused by the gl walls of the grounds for birds.

The padel courts“, like all “gl infrastructure“, “constitute a barrier that birds do not identify as a threat“, “despite their overdeveloped visual system», underlines the NGO SEO/Birdlife which recently launched an awareness campaign on the subject.

Read alsoPadel madness, this ultra-addictive racket sport born in Mexico

For this reason, they are at the origin of numerous “collisions”, which lead to “death or injury», Adds the ociation in a press release. She specifies that she regularly finds deceased swallows, blackbirds and warblers “at the foot of the courts“.

A problem thatmainly affects young people” and who is “exacerbated during periods of migration», especially since padel courts are often built on the outskirts of towns and villages where biodiversity is important, insists SEO/Birdlife.

In recent years, several complaints from animal rights activists have been received by the Spanish justice system. This led the head of environmental issues within the General Prosecutor’s Office, Antonio Vercher, to take up the issue, relying on a recently adopted law concerning animal welfare.

In a letter addressed Monday to his colleagues from the various Spanish regional prosecutors’ offices, the latter called “the competent administrations» to ensure that “all necessary measures» are taken as “avoid or limit these collisions“.

The animal welfare law, adopted in March by the Spanish Parliament, in fact considers “an offense» criminal mistreatment inflicted on animals, recalls this letter, consulted by AFP.

Among the solutions proposed by the ociations is the installation of stickers or protective nets on transparent walls, making them visible. A technique successfully tested, according to SEO/Birdlife, in the Valencia region (East).

Created at the end of the 1960s in Mexico, padel – a derivative of tennis played in pairs on smaller courts lined with walls used for bouncing balls – is one of the sports which is currently experiencing the strongest growth in the world.

In Spain, this racket sport has become a real phenomenon in just a few years, with four million practicing it, or nearly 10% of the population. According to the Deloitte firm, the country now hosts 15,300 padel tracks, out of a total of 40,000 recorded in the world.

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