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AC/DC gig runway to hell for rare birds, claim campaigners

By Thomas Hochwarter

A concert by hard-rock legends AC/DC has been thrown into doubt – by nesting birds.

Animal rights activists said today (Tues) they will take legal action if the concert – scheduled for 22 May 2010 at Wels airport - goes ahead because it will threaten colonies of nesting rare birds in the area.

Hans Uhl of NGO BirdLife said: "The second-biggest colony of curlews in Upper Austria and various other ground-nesting birds must not become endangered by organisers’ plans."

The BirdLife spokesman said his organisation along with the Upper Austrian Nature Protection Union and the province’s World Wildlife Fund (WWF) office are trying to convince officials to reschedule the concert which will be attended by around 80,000 people.

Uhl said the gig would cause a "disaster" among the breeding colonies which flock to the area each spring.

And he hit out at Social Democratic (SPÖ) Mayor Peter Koits for not consulting environment experts when the date was arranged.

Uhl added he and his colleagues felt they had been "mocked" as the concert had been arranged to take place on the same day as the International Day of Diversity of Species.

WWF spokesman Bernhard Kohler meanwhile claimed the matter was not just an Upper Austrian issue and called on federal People’s Party (ÖVP) Environment Minister Nikolaus Berlakovich to take action.

Animal rights campaigners said the concert could take place anytime from mid-June as it would no longer be a threat to the birds.

Tickets for the event – which sees the Australian group return after playing to a sold-out crowd at Vienna’s Ernst Happel Stadium last May – were sold out within hours after going on sale earlier this month.

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