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Hunting scenes in Egypt - CABS publishes private hunting video

Film shows shooting of Eagles, Vultures, Pelicans and Storks

Press release dated 12.02.2012

You need strong nerves to watch this - Maltese hunters pose for the camera with freshly-shot pelicansYou need strong nerves to watch this - Maltese hunters pose for the camera with freshly-shot pelicans

The Committee Against Bird Slaughter (CABS) today severely criticised the unchecked shooting of migrant bird species by Maltese hunters in Egypt. The country on the River Nile opened the hunting season for birds last December for the first time since the so-called avian influenza outbreak in 2008, and again permitted foreign hunters to enter the country. According to reports from local conservationists received by CABS, several groups of Maltese hunters have shot large numbers of birds around Lake Nasser, including protected species.

CABS received support from local conservationists who want an end put to this uncontrolled hunting tourism. “Maltese hunters are crazy fanatics. They have been bird hunting in Egypt for decades, because Egypt has interesting-looking birds compared to its neighbours” complains Sherif Baha el-Din, an Egyptian bird expert, in an interview with the Egypt Independent newspaper on the 4th of February this year. The conservationist has witnessed at first hand the indiscriminate killing of Flamingos and other bird species. He is critical about the almost complete lack of effective controls in Egypt. “You cannot open a hunting season when you don’t have a system to monitor this activity” states Baha El-Din.

Because of the numerous reports of massacres of birds by hunting tourists, CABS has announced that it will send a team to Egypt during the next hunting season to monitor important rest areas around Lake Nasser for migrant birds on passage. “As on Malta we will work closely with local ornithologists and law enforcement agencies” promises CABS spokesperson Axel Hirschfeld.

CABS has published sequences from a shocking video on its Youtube channel. These show a group of Maltese hunters hunting protected birds on Lake Nasser, some of which are highly endangered species. The film shows birds, including numerous Pelicans, Spoonbills, Glossy Ibis, Egyptian Vultures as well as an Osprey, a Lanner Falcon and a Bonelli’s Eagle being shot - accompanied by cheering and laughter as the birds are hauled into the hunters’ boat. According to CABS the original material is over an hour in length and was filmed by the hunters themselves a few years ago. At a later date it was provided anonymously to CABS and its Maltese partner organisation International Animal Rescue Malta. Hirschfeld comments bitterly “This video shows the true face of these so-called hunting trips. We have therefore decided to expose them by publishing extracts from this video”.

From today the film can be viewed on Youtube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=34GPawd-Hu0. In order to protect the identity of the hunters and their local guides the faces of the hunters have been blurred and their voices edited.