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Welcome to the Committee Against Bird Slaughter (CABS)


New CABS video about Skylark trapping in France (13.9.2019)

Skylark and Turtle Dove hunting is now in full swing: Despite populations declining throughout Europe; France, Spain and Italy have once again declared an open season for hunting these birds. Following extensive research, CABS have today submitted comprehensive environmental complaints to the European Commission. Hunting these species on migration is not sustainable and accelerates the decline of breeding birds across Europe. Our complaints highlight recent studies which show massive declines of these species across the United Kingdom, Germany and north western Europe, in parallel with the legalised hunting of at least >1 million Skylark and 1.5 million Turtle Dove per year in the Mediterranean region. Therefore, undermining conservation efforts to reverse the decline in numbers. On the French Atlantic coast hundreds of thousands of skylarks are now being trapped with huge clap nets. The video below shows for the first time how skylarks are caught and then killed for the pot by French hunters.

You can see our new video here »»


Shots at CABS patrol car in Girgenti - volunteers hit by pellets
2500 Euro reward offered for information (10.9.2019)

Yesterday evening persons unknown shot at a CABS patrol car parked on the main road in Girgenti valley. Our team was out to monitor protected birds of prey flying towards the roost in Buskett. When the volunteers returned to their car, they realised that someone had shot at the vehicle from a short distance with a shotgun. The police were called and documented the damage. As it was already dark, they left without searching the area. In a separate incident, two members of another CABS team monitoring bird migration in Bingemma were hit by multiple lead shots. CABS are offering a reward of 2500 Euro for information leading to the arrest of the person(s) responsible for the shot damage to their car in Girgenti.

Read our recent press relaese here »»


Cyprus autumn bird protection camp has begun (27.8.2019)

Sadly, the bird trapping has already started on Cyprus. From now on, poachers are setting up traps and nets to catch and kill warblers, nightingales, thrushes and other birds as they migrate back towards their intended wintering areas. The birds are killed to supply the demand for the questionable gourmet dish known as ambelopoulia. As autumn migration gets underway, CABS teams are already out in the countryside looking for active illegal trapping sites. Already we found an active site with 33 limesticks and many feathers on the ground. We removed them but unfortunately the poacher was not caught. We will have teams on the island until the end of the migration season in November!

Read more about the CABS Cyprus campaigns here »»


U-turn in bird protection:
Italy approves the bird trapping with nets again (05.08.2019)

Italy is making a dramatic turnaround in bird conservation: the Lombardy regional government, led by the right-wing populist Lega, has announced that it will allow bird trapping with nets in the autumn. A total of 12,700 blackbirds, redwing, song thrush and fieldfare are to be caught with miles of nets in 24 trapping sites. The birds are to be caged and used as live decoys in songbird hunting. The Committee (CABS) are already in contact with the European Commission and is preparing a major complaint - Brussels is the only body that can put a stop to Lombardy plans.


Finch smuggling between Malta and Italy
National Geographic reports on CABS actions (15.5.2019)

With finches like Siskin, bullfinches and goldfinches you can earn a lot of money. Instead of breeding the popular cage birds, poachers illegally catch the wild birds with traps and nets and have set up trafficking networks to trade across the borders of Italy and Malta. National Geographic reports on the problem of the smugglers' and how the Committee Against Bird Slaughter and its partners are combating it.

The detailed article can be found hier »»


Raids in Reggio Calabria (Italy):
2 poachers caught, 50 birds seized (11.05.2019)

Following a recent investigation and a report from CABS members, a shop suspected of selling protected birds in Reggio Calabria has been raided by anti-poaching officials who were able to determine that several siskin and brambling were fitted with counterfeit closed rings. This led to a subsequent search at the premises of the breeder who was supplying the merchant. Over fifty illegally caught wildbirds including hawfinch, siskin, goldfinch and greenfinch were found and seized. The birds were transferred to the wildlife rescue centre in the straits of Messina for rehabilitation and release. Both suspects await sentence in due course.

Read more about the CABS work in Southern Italy here »»


Joint CABS/police operation against illegal trapping on Gozo
Huge mist net installation found at Ghasri (17.04.2019)

During the last week members of the Committee Against Bird Slaughter (CABS) led police officers to seven illegal trapping sites for Turtle Dove and Quail on Gozo. These involved two illegal cage traps found near Ghasri and the outskirts of Victoria, three sets of clap nets in San Lawrenz, Zebbug and Ghasri, one ground net for Quail-trapping in Marsalforn and a massive vertical mist net which poachers had set up in a fenced property below the Gordan lighthouse. The trapping installations were found during a major search operation which involved covert teams and an aerial survey.

Read our recent press release here »»


Dangerous commitment: Report on violence against CABS members in Cyprus (02.04.2019)

Members of the Committee Against Bird Slaughter often risk their health during our bird protection camps. Especially in Cyprus, we are frequently the target of criminal poachers. In the best case, we are only insulted, threatened or our vehicles damaged; in the worst case, the participants land in the hospital (see photos of the operations in Cyprus). In the meantime, the police are increasingly being absent from the fight against poaching, fewer and fewer offenders are coming to court, and politicians are blatantly supporting the outdated unsustainable ‘traditions’ and EU-wide prohibited bird-trapping practices.

The online news portal ‘in-cyprus’ has recently published an article about violence against our members »»


Malta: Special operation against illegal finch trapping
New CABS YouTube video now online (21.03.2019)

In a special operation this week, three CABS teams simultaneously observed 9 active trapping sites with large clap nets from different observation points along the coastal cliffs west of Mtahleb. The trappers had set the sites with live decoys and electronic callers to lure protected linnets to their waiting nets. Following our calls for support from the authorities, the police attended with two patrol teams, who had a hard time on the ground to convict the poachers. At the end of a operation, which lasted several hours, the officers stopped and searched just three poachers, not all nets and decoys were seized and several bird trappers escaped.

Read our recent press release here »»
You can find our video from the operation here »»


Report about the CABS Lebanon campaign (04.02.2019)

The CABS campaign against illegal bird killing in Lebanon is getting increased international attention. Our operation "Safe Haven", which CABS conducts together with its local partners Society for the Protection of Nature in Lebanon and Middle East Sustainable Hunting Centre (MESHC), has already been widely covered by the local Lebanese media. American broadcaster National Public Radio (NPR) is now catching up with this long reportage about our work against illegal songbird trapping in the Northern Bekaa plain at the border to Syria.

You can read more about our work in Lebanon here »»
Videos from the last CABS bird protection camp in Lebanon can be found here »»