Joint press release: Committee Against Bird Slaughter (CABS) and Saxon Ornithologists‘ Association (VSO)
Leipzig: Illegal bird of Prey trap discovered and seized
Police start criminal proceedings against person/persons unknown
see Stop Press 27 January 2012 below
Leipzig. At the weekend bird conservationists and police found and dismantled an illegal trapping device for protected birds of prey. According to the Committee Against Bird Slaughter (CABS) the trap is a so-called Goshawk cage that had been activated on top of a pigeon coopin Riesaer Street, Leipzig. An observant member of the Saxon Ornithologists’ Association (VSO) had noticed the trap on Friday evening and had immediately informed CABS who specialise in handling such incidents.
CABS board member David Conlin comments “Anyone setting such a trap is committing a crime under the terms of the Federal Nature Protection Law”. In order to lure Goshawks and other birds of prey the offender had placed a dead (ringed!) captive-bred pigeon in the trap. Conlin comments further “The trap was set and baited. We therefore alerted the police early the following day (Saturday) and filed an official complaint”. A phone call that brought results! - Only half an hour later a police patrol was at the scene and the trap was seized and criminal proceedings begun - to begin with against person or persons unknown. The offender is liable to a penalty of up to 5 years in jail.
Goshawks are a strictly protected species. According to CABS the Goshawk population has sharply decreased over the past few years in Saxony and other areas of Germany. One of the reasons for this is illegal persecution by pigeon fanciers and hunters, who regard the uncommon bird of prey as unwanted competition.
The Committee reports that persecution of birds of prey is also prevalent in Saxony. According to the Saxon police information system (PASS) some 10 cases of illegal persecution by trapping, poisoning or shooting have beer recorded in the time-frame 2006-2011. Two traps for birds of prey were seized in 2011 near Meißen und and other incidents included the felling of trees with occupied White-tailed Eagle and Sparrowhawk nests in 2010 as well as the shooting of a Red Kite and an extremely rare Saker Falcon.
The Saxon Ornithologists’ Association is convinced that these cases represent only the tip of the iceberg “There is a high dark figure of undetected cases of illegal persecution of birds of prey “ states Hartmut Meyer, General Secretary of the VSO. The ornithologist therefore calls on all lovers of the indigenous bird world, and witnesses to suspicious incidents involving trapped, injured or dead birds of prey, to report such cases immediately. Incidents should be reported direct to the police or to David Conlin of CABS (Tel.: 0228/665521 or 01794803805, Mail: Komitee@komitee.de) or to Hartmut Meyer of the VSO (Tel.: 03723/44210 Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org).
Stop Press 27.01.2012:
Goshawk cage traps also found in the states of Brandenburg and North-Rhine -Westphalia
On 26.01.2012 the police seized a Goshawk cage trap that had been activated on an airstrip near Luckenwalde (Brandenburg). The illegal trap was on the roof of an aviary for ornamental birds and was reported to CABS by an observant guest at a nearby restaurant. Thomas Hellwig, deputy chair of CABS visited the scene to check the information and called the police.
A further Goshawk trap was found in Dormagen (near Cologne, North-Rhine Westphalia) on 27 January by a member of CABS following a tip-off from a member of the public. The suspected culprit is a pigeon fancier the trap was immediately adjacent to a pigeon coop within a fenced-in property. The püolice have begun criminal proceedings in both the above cases.
Contact for queries photographic material (HD, Fotos): Axel Hirschfeld, Committee Against Bird Slaughter, An der Ziegelei 8, D-53127 Bonn, Germany Tel.: +49 228/665521 or +49 1794803805 as well as Hartmut Meyer, Saxon Ornithologists’ Association, Postfach 1129, D-09331 Hohenstein-Ernstthal, Germany Tel.: +49 3723/44210, Fax - 44211.