Boycott Wine Until Vineyard No Longer Animal Deathtrap?

Judean Hills WineriesThis mountain gazelle can be seriously injured or killed if it tries to reached fenced in vineyards in Israel’s Judean Hills. Wineries like Barkan are “open” to solutions, but not at their expense.

Israeli wildlife are already threatened by illegal hunting and development projects that result in a lack of available land for animals to roam in. Now, according to Haaretz, they face being snared by fencing placed by wine vineyard growers in the Judean Hills near Jerusalem.

Judean Hills WineriesFencing vineyards in Judean Hills

According to the article, animals like gazelles who “run by instinct” get caught in the fencing placed around vineyards, where they are then injured or eaten by predators like hyenas, jackals or wild “feral” dogs. The Barkan winery, who have been fencing in their vines, say they are doing this because wildlife are eating the tender green plants.

A suggestion has been made by the Society for Protection of Nature (SPNI) to sheathe the young grape vines with plastic to discourage animals like gazelles from eating them. Barkan spokesmen have replied that they are prepared to try leaving a few vineyard plantings unfenced to see what happens. If the gazelles eat the growing green parts, then they will replant and fence the areas, on SPNI’s account.

The Barkan vineyards are located in areas of the Judean Hills that are passages for wildlife. Real estate developers are also cutting off parts of the open areas for wildlife and this has resulted in even less open spaces available. The situation is even more complicated when agriculture guest workers poach wild animals to eat for food.

Judean Hills WineriesOryx and other hoofed animals are having fencing problems in Arabia

Israel is not the only country where fencing agricultural crops have been proven to be dangerous for wildlife. It was reported last year on Green Prophet that “protective fencing” erected in Saudi Arabia is very dangerous for wildlife and even results in species like Arabian Oryx  and gazelles starving to death because their normal food supplies are cut off.

Regarding the Barkan winery, SPNI is calling for a boycott of the company’s products until it stops fencing in wild animals’ feeding range.

Fencing photo: Dov Greenblatt, SPNI

More about wild animals at risk:
Plight of North African Wild Ass, the Stripe-less Zebra
Israeli wild animals killed by economic development
Thai Migrant Workers Poach Wildlife for Food in Israel
Protective Fencing Causes Mass Starvation of Saudi Wildlife

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6 thoughts on “Boycott Wine Until Vineyard No Longer Animal Deathtrap?”

  1. Michelle says:

    I am not recommending buying Barkan wine, BUT…SPNI and Let Animals Live have reached a compromise with Barkan. They are taking down the fences that have been erected, but haven’t yet agreed not to erect fences in other places. Instead, they will cover the vines with plastic sheeting or some such. Wildlife biologists found dead and dying gazelles stuck in the wire fence again and again over the last few months and we even posted a video clip of this to SPNI’s youtube channel, but it’s pretty gory. Don’t look. And anyway, it’s going in a positive direction. Maybe if you write Barkan and tell them you want to buy their wines, but you want to know that they’ve agreed to no more fences. It’s public land, for the most part, and not private land, so they really should not be doing this.

  2. Maurice says:

    Hoofed mammals don’t see color. Maybe something flashy, but not actual color. Besides, as noted in the Haaretz article, what they do, i.e. run, they do by instinct.

    Trying go over or through a fence is not something they can do by instinct in most cases. Getting through some barriers are eventually learned by animals, as in the case of Nubian Ibex at the Dead Sea, who have apparently learned how to crawl under road side railings.
    Fences are another matter, however.

  3. susan says:

    Paint the fence with a fluorescent color that can be seen by the wildlife.

  4. I think companies that profit from nature and nature’s beauty, should be more moral and tread a little lighter on this planet.

    Here is the drivel they post on their home page:

    “A Vineyard was to Solomon the King, and as the love in the Song of Songs, our love started in a vineyard. Our love is a devotion to wine, to premium wines from the finest grapes we can grow, that our vineyard can give.”

    The Song of Songs also mentions the gazelles…

  5. Alyssa says:

    Can’t Barkan sue SPNI now under the boycott law? That would be an interesting one…

  6. Maurice says:

    This doesn’t mean to boycott all wines – only ones from Barkon, unless they agree to take down the all fences around the vineyards. Reminds me of the classic novel and movie: The Yearling. Look this story up if you are not familiar with it.

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