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Welcome to the Committee Against Bird Slaughter (CABS)

Raptor persecution in Germany – 5 new cases in just a few days (15.01.2016)

In Germany, five incidents of illegal bird of prey persecution have been unveiled in just the first two weeks of January. Four of which were the direct result of CABS investigations: In North Rhine-Westphalia 5 large leg hold traps and live hawk trap were found. In Frankfurt several wild caught raptors and illegal cage traps were found at a falconers address. In Brandenburg another Goshawk trap and in southern Germany a shot Sparrowhawk was found.

More on the individual cases can be found here »»

The first CABS bird protection camp of the calendar year in Sardinia is now complete (14.01.2016)

Since the end of December, Italian CABS members have been busy conducting field monitoring for illegal trapping on the Mediterranean island. A total of 1,200 horsehair snares were collected (photo shows one such with a freshly caught Greenfinch). Furthermore, 40 wire snares used to target wild boar and deer were also dismantled. Many of the dead birds – as in previous years – were abandoned. Thanks to our actions which started back in 1999, the scale of trapping has declined to just a few remote valleys in the south of the island.

For more information on our actions in Sardinia click here »»

Malta: Bird trappers have catched “several hundred” plovers illegally in the night - Police refuse to take action (21.12.2015)

Night surveys of CABS have unveiled massive illegal night trapping of Golden Plovers and total inaction of the district police on the matter. Our teams have reported 14 cases of illegal night trapping to the police headquarters since November but did not observe any direct action. To support our claims we have published exact-to-the-minute protocols of cases where its teams reported illegal trapping activity but tried in vain to convince the police to do their job. “The problem is that the ALE, who normally deal with trapping cases, are only very rarely on duty during the night and that the local police feel that they are not responsible ”, CABS Wildlife Crime Officer Fiona Burrows reports.

See our recent press release here »»

Online dairy for CABS field operations for Autumn 2015.

Are you interested in keeping up to speed with how many illegal bird trappers and hunters we've helped convict this Autumn? How many traps and nets have we collected? How many caught wild birds have we set free? Figures such as these are just some of the results of our relentless fieldwork which we undertake thanks to the backing of our dedicated supporters.

Regular updates and information about our bird protection camps throughout the Mediterranean can be found here »»

Bird protection camp in Italy has come to an end:
50 poachers caught red-handed - 911 traps and109 nets seized (01.11.2015)

Italian job complete: Today, following 4 weeks of fieldwork CABS bird protection camp in Brescia (Northern Italy) comes to a close. Early this morning a team struck off the last known trapping site and dismantled 9 bow traps. All our participants are now on their way home. Thanks to our teams investigations, police have arrested 50 bird trappers (last year was 41) and 12 hunters killing protected species. Authorities have seized 109 mist nets, 401 bow traps, 510 snap traps, 12 illegally held shotguns (with over 100 rounds of ammunition) and around 400 frozen songbirds as well as approximately 150 live decoys.

A big thank you to the 60+ participants of the camp, the state forest police and all of our sponsors!

Cyprus bird protection camp has come to an end
33 poachers arrested - 2.730 limesticks dismantled (24.10.2015)

Today marks the end of the CABS bird protection camp in Cyprus. Breaking new ground, we helped police secure the arrest of 33 trappers and seized 2730 limesticks and 151 mist nets. Since mid September, 30 volunteers from all corners of Europe have come together to help disrupt the widespread trapping that occurs on the Mediterranean island. The number of convictions represents an all time high for the autumn season. The Cypriot police collected 1,376 limesticks , 120 nets and 51 electronic decoys - but a further 1,354 limesticks and 31 nets were unveiled by the our dedicated team. We also set a new record by liberating more than 950 birds from an otherwise doomed fate!

An overview of the results of our Cyprus operations since 2001 can be found here »»

Movie " Emptying the Skies " is now online (20.10.2015)

The film jointly developed with the American writer Jonathan Franzen "Emptying the Skies " is currently available online. Franzen and his team accompanied CABS members for two years to witness the work we do and the threats faced around poaching and trapping of birds across the Mediterranean - the result is a detailed portrait of our dedicated and brave bird conservationists. The Arabic television channel Al Jazeera is airing the film for a limited time on its website. An absolute 'must see' for those of us interested in learning about the war on wildbirds in Europe:

Al Jazeera: "Emptying the skies"

Malta: 8000 Euro record fine for illegal bird trapping (13.10.2015)

A bird trapper from Gozo has been found guilty of illegal finch trapping close to San Lawrenz during the closed season in spring 2015. Today, he was handed a fine of 8000 Euros and has his trapping permit and hunting licence revoked for life. The case was reported to the police by a CABS team on 23 March 2015 after the volunteers observed and photographed the man operating an active clap net and an illegal electronic bird caller to attract finches to his trapping site. The man is a repeat offender with at least one prior conviction related to illegal trapping of birds. CABS president Heinz Schwarze welcomed the verdict as a “very clear and strong signal to poachers that the society is not going to tolerate their actions anymore”. The fine is probably the highest fine for a single case of illegal bird trapping in Maltese history.

Read more about our work on Malta here »»

Malta bird protection camp has come to an end (04.10.2015)

Malta bird protection camp completed: Since 11/09 26 CABS supporters joined forces to provide eyes and ears during the peak migration period across the Mediterranean Island. The number of the illegal incidents is at a historic low and thousands of migratory birds were able to fly over Malta without persecution. However, there is still much to be done, as several protected birds including a hoopoe and a spoonbill were confirmed shot, along with cases of illegal trapping. Other protected species were observed with injuries conducive with shot damage and yesterday news emerged of an alleged incident of a white stork being gunned down near Gharb, on Malta's sister island Gozo.

Read more about the CABS work on Malta here »»

Malta and Cyprus: Bird protection camps starts (11.09.2015)

Our bird protection camps on the Mediterranean islands of Malta and Cyprus today have now begun. Until the beginning of October more than 22 CABS members from across Europe will join forces to monitor the passage and roosting areas of various species of birds of prey and storks. We will also be on the look out for bird trapping sites (particularly) targeting waders, finches and songbirds which is illegal for all species at this time of year. On Cyprus, around 30 participants are expected at the CABS bird protection camp which runs until mid October. Our aim is to record the scale of illegal trapping sites with mist nets and limesticks, targeting songbirds to feed the illegal restaurant trade. With continual improvement and cooperation with the Cypriot Anti Poaching Squad we will seek out active trapping sites in an effort to catch the perpetrators red handed.

Learn more about the ongoing work in the Mediterranean via our online diary »»

Cyprus: Clear no by EC to selective blackcap hunting (14.09.2015)

BirdLife Cyprus, CABS and other NGOs are justified, as their strong opposition to the proposal by the Ministry of Interior to allow the hunting of blackcaps, through the Strategic Action Plan which was adopted last May, is proven to be on a correct basis. The justification of the environmental organisations comes through the publication of the negative response of the European Commission to the Republic of Cyprus, sent last August. According to press articles, the European Commission makes clear that the “alternative plan” for the selective hunting of blackcaps cannot proceed, as the criteria set out by the European Birds Directive are not met. Consequently, the blackcap remains a protected species, while hunting blackcaps and trapping with non-selective methods, such as mist nets and limesticks, are not allowed. (picture © Tony Hisgett Wikimedia)

Read more in our actual press release »»

Poaching of Ortolan buntings in the Landes département:
The French government continues to turn a blind eye! (27.08.2015)

From 9 o´clock this morning, 27.08.2015, teams of LPO and CABS are, once again, on the ground in the Landes département, south-west France taking action to expose the poaching of Ortolan buntings that takes place here. Until now 36 sites have been identified with cage traps containing captured birds, and decoys. Many of the decoy birds could be released. Other wounded birds were taken to rehabilitation centres. The authorities habe been informed about the illegal trapping installations - criminal proceedings are initiated.

Read more about our operations in southwest France in the LPO´s actual press release »»

CABS release field report for spring 2015 Bird Protection Camp in Cyprus (11.08.2015)

The Committee Against Bird Slaughter (CABS) has released today their new field report for their Spring 2015 Bird Protection Camp (BPC) in Cyprus. During joint field operations with police units, 17 poachers were caught and prosecuted for illegal bird trapping, while at 18 other trapping sites only confiscation of illegal trapping paraphernalia was made. In total, 1400 limesticks and 25 mist nets were seized. The number of confiscated limesticks and mist nets is the lowest ever recorded. Despite the low amount of seized traps, the number of prosecutions made by the competent anti-poaching agencies is record high.

You can use the Field Report and the Press Release here »»

Happy Birthday CABS -
40 years of Committee Against Bird Slaughter (07.07.2015)

Today Committee Against Bird Slaughter celebrate our birthday: On July 7, 1975, we were officially registered as an Non Governmental Organisation. Over the past 40 years we have achieved a lot: From tireless campaigning which brought an end to bird trapping across Belgium, Germany and Italy, to field operations which have led to the arrest of thousands of illegal hunters and trappers and removing more than 370,000 illegally set traps. Illegal poaching of wild birds is now on the decline in almost all of operational areas through out the Mediterranean region.

A report summarising the past 40 years of work can be found here »»

Illegal trapping site shut down in the Black Forest (29.06.2015)

CABS members discovered the site today following a tip off from a member of public in Rheinhausen (district of Emmendingen). Three illegal traps were discovered, including a clap net and two cage traps used to target wild birds. The photo shows one of our officers (authorised by the police) seizing one of the clap nets this afternoon. The landowner confessed to setting up the traps. As a clear cut violation of the federal Nature Conservation Act, criminal proceedings will be brought against the suspect in due course.

CABS spring bird protection camp on Malta and Gozo is complete
In terms of illegal incidents recorded it proved to be the most silent spring across the archipelago since 2001 (4.5.2015)

The large scale camp ended yesterday. For two weeks, a total of 28 CABS members from Great Britain, France, Malta and Germany monitored migration routes and roosting areas during the spring hunting season. There was an increased enforcement response following the referendum to ensure the season was effectively regulated. It seems a significant change is finally taking place as we have never observed so few hunting violations as we have this April. On 27/04 the spring hunting season was closed prematurely by the government following several documented kills of cuckoos and a kestrel which crash landed in a school yard. The majority of protected migratory birds passed over the islands undisturbed on the way to their European breeding grounds and the camp was a great success. Thanks to participants, volunteers and donors!

You can find out more about our actions in Malta here »»