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Welcome to the Committee Against Bird Slaughter (CABS)


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 »»


Italy: Spring operations have begun (15.3.2019)

Our spring operations in Italy have begun! Over the course of the next 8 weeks actions in Brescia (nets) and Bolzano (nest robbers), Ponza (illegal spring hunting), Ischia (snap traps) and Calabria (birds of prey poaching) are on the program. Now at the beginning of the migration period, robins are the most common victims of poaching, and later the long-distance migrants such as Whinchat, Turtle Doves and Honey Buzzards are targeted and we will be guarding their flyways. All actions take place in close cooperation with the local authorities.

Read more about the CABS Italy campaigns here »»


Cyprus: Winter Bird Protection Camp completed
847 limesticks and 140 nets dismantled, 7 poachers caught (3.3.2019)

The CABS winter Bird Protection Camp in Cyprus is now complete. Over the course of more than 10 weeks, our teams found 100 active trapping sites, 847 limesticks and 140 huge nets were dismantled, as well as 62 illegal electronic decoy callers. The Cypriot police, wardens from the Game Fund and the British military police were able to convict 7 poachers as a direct result of our field investigations. 620 birds were released from traps and nets, as well as 58 protected birds that were illegally kept in an aviary. The three photos show a song thrush released from a net and a black redstart we rescued from a limestick (both could continue flying unharmed) as well as dead song thrushes seized from nets, for which unfortunately our help arrived too late. The poachers have virtually no time to breathe - our spring mission is now imminent!

Read more about our bird protection camps on Cyprus 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 »»


Florence and Calabria: 8 poachers caught (24.01.2019)

In Florence (Central Italy), together with teams from the WWF and the Carabinieri (police) we have made a successful sting on a "fat fish": a 76-year-old poacher as he attended his trapping nets. During a subsequent premises search, officials found 70 wire snares for mammals, 49 snap traps for songbirds, nine leg hold traps, two large nets and 2,200 rounds hunting ammunition and several firearms. In the freezers 17 protected songbirds (mostly robins) and were found and 60 stuffed animals were seized. In Calabria (southern Italy), in a joint operation with police we caught 7 hunters using electronic acoustic callers to lure and shoot protected finches.


CABS Bird Protection Camps 2019 (10.01.2019)

Our schedule for the year ahead is now available via our website. With your support, we will conduct around 25 bird protection camps, deploying teams of bird guards in the poaching hotspots of the Mediterranean and helping protect the flyways for migratory birds. If you are interested in joining one of our bird protection camps you should be aware that we expect participants in our operations to meet a number of requirements.

Take a look here for the dates and informations about participation »»


CABS Annual Report 2018 (14.12.2018)

As 2018 draws to and end it is time for us to take stock and look back. This year we’ve conducted a total of 26 bird protection camps, bringing together around 250 participants from all corners of Europe and found and dismantled a total of 4,532 bird traps, 569 nets and 147 illegal electronic decoys. 146 poachers were convicted and more than 4,000 illegally trapped or caged songbirds were released. In our Annual Report 2018 (attached PDF) we have provided a summary of the results of our campaigns and broader work as a whole – there may even be some snippets you weren’t aware of!

You can download the report as PDF here »»
An online version can be found here »»