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Welcome to the Committee Against Bird Slaughter (CABS)


CABS Spring Bird Protection Camps 2015

From March 6 until 17 May 2015 with thanks to our financial supporters and partner associations CABS have completed 10 bird protection camps throughout the Mediterranean this spring. The season has proved to be our most successful bird conservation actions since the creation of the Committee back in 1975. The incidents of illegal poaching have never been so calm as spring 2015. Our work which started several decades ago is increasingly noticeable. In total about 1.800 bird traps and 65 mist and clap nets have been seized, 58 poachers were caught red-handed.

You can find our final report here »»


Cyprus: Environmental organisations condemn the “alternative plan” introduced in the Strategic Plan to tackle illegal trapping of birds (15.5.0215)

BirdLife Cyprus, the Cyprus Conservation Foundation Terra Cypria, Friends of the Earth Cyprus, the Committee Against Bird Slaughter (CABS) and the Foundation Pro Biodiversity (SPA) condemn the adoption of a Strategic Action Plan against the illegal trapping of birds, which instead of aiming to tackle illegal trapping, opens the way to the legalization of ambelopoulia hunting. According to the announcement on the website of the Press and Information Office, the Council of Ministers has approved the Strategic Plan with an “alternative design”, which is in stark contrast with national legislation (Law 152(Ι)/2003), as well as the European Bird Directive (Directive 2009/147/ΕΚ) and International Conventions (the Bern Convention of 1979 and the Bonn Convention of 1979) and essentially demolishes years of efforts to address the persistent and serious problem of illegal trapping of migratory birds.

Our press relase from today can be read here »»
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Italy - CABS operations on Ischia are complete (11.5.2015)

Our bird protection camp on the Italian Mediterranean island of Ischia ended yesterday. Together with our Italian colleagues from the WWF and the ENPA, we found a total of 8 active trapping sites for Whinchat, nightingales and other late migrating wild birds. Two poachers were arrested by the Carabinieri thanks to our intelligence gathering and 122 snap traps were seized. In the 1990s, we typically recorded up to 1,200 wildlife offences a year - so here too, our efforts to protect wild birds has become clearly noticeable. "La Repubblika", the biggest Italian newspaper, also reported on the CABS bird protection camp:

La Repubblica: "Bracconaggio a Ischia, maxi sequestro di trappole"


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 »»


Malta: CABS films hunter in Mizieb after curfew
Kestrel shot at in Safi - Another dead Cuckoo found (25.04.2015)

This morning a team from the Committee Against Bird Slaughter witnessed how a hunter tried to shoot down a protected Kestrel close to the runway of the Malta International Airport in Safi. In a separate incident this afternoon at 1:45pm a group of CABS observers filmed a hunter firing 4 shots in the Mizieb woodland during the afternoon curfew. The same CABS team also found a freshly deceased Cuckoo with typical shotgun injuries hidden in a bush in the same area.

See our recent press release here »»


Malta: 127 illegal finch trapping sites spotted from the air
Massive increase compared to last year, 7 trappers apprehended (30.03.2015)

Aerial survey flights conducted earlier this month revealed a massive increase of illegal finch trapping in spring, the Committee Against Bird Slaughter (CABS) said. Despite only 30% of Malta and Gozo being covered by the flight a total of 127 active clap netting sites were photographed. During a similar count last year only 51 sites could be located on 30% of the islands. "The derogation for trapping in autumn revived the black market for live songbirds and led to a massive increase in prices which in turn also encouraged illegal trapping in spring.", CABS Wildlife Crime Officer Fiona Burrows said.

Read more in our actual press release »»


Cyprus: Field reports for Autumn 2014 and Winter 2014/2015
Urgent call for an effective strategic action plan against poaching (27.3.2015)

The Committee Against Bird Slaughter (CABS) and the Foundation Pro Biodiversity (SPA) have released today two new field reports for their Autumn 2014 and Winter 2014/2015 Bird Protection Camps (BPCs). During the two operations (in total 36 days), 3,950 limesticks, 173 mist nets, 45 decoys and 13 steel traps have been seized and 30 persons have been prosecuted for illegal bird trapping. The British ESBA in southern Cyprus showed once more to be by far the worst hotspot for bird trapping in Cyprus (and probably in the whole of Europe!).

You can read more in our recent press release »»


Italy: Blow against poaching on Ischia (24.03.2015)

Our colleagues from the ENPA (National Animal Protection Agency) have dealt a blow against poaching on the Southern Italian island of Ischia. Alongside Carabinieri they apprehended a hunter with a dozen live decoys, around 40 frozen birds and an illegally held rifle and ammunition. The surviving birds were immediately released. Thanks to our supporters, CABS are able to provide financial support to ENPA operations on Ischia.

For more information about our bird protection operations in Southern Italy tale a look here »»


Malta: CABS publishes poaching statistics for 2014 (10.03.2015)

The Committee Against Bird Slaughter has published a data summary of all hunting and trapping related offences and illegalities observed by its teams on Malta and Gozo in 2014. The data where gathered by CABS volunteers and staff members during operations in March to May and from July to December last year. Added together a total of 121 cases of illegal hunting, 163 cases related to illegal trapping as well as 251 cases which involved the illegal use of bird callers have been recorded.

You can read more here »»


Spring bird protection camps have started (06.03.2015)

With spring migrations well under way, yesterday saw the start of CABS spring bird protection camps across the Mediterranean.

Our fieldwork starts on the southern Italian islands of the Gulf of Naples, continuing in mid March with operations across Brescia, Northern Italy as well as Malta. In April we will also be active on Cyprus and in Calabria. In total around 80 participants from Italy, Germany, Slovenia, United Kingdom, Netherlands and France are expected.


Operations and events 2014
CABS presents its Annual Report (19.12.2014)

In 2014 more than 180 nature and wildlife lovers from all over Europe took part in operations in France, Spain, Germany, Italy and on Cyprus and Malta. Our teams collected and either destroyed or handed over to the police large numbers of bird killing and live bird trapping equipment: 2,010 horsehair snares, 15.961 limesticks, 736 bow traps, 695 snap or clutch traps and 231 mist nets. More than 100 poachers were caught red-handed and will be prosecuted.

You can read more about this all-round successful year in our online Annual Report 2014.


Malta: Widespread illegal night trapping and use of illegal bird callers
Governments’ quota system reduced to absurdity (10.12.2014)

Right at the start of the Golden Plover migration the Committee Against Bird Slaughter (CABS) has urged the government to stop trapping of Golden Plovers (Maltese name: Pluviera) as widespread illegal night trapping makes a mockery of the real-time monitoring and quota system introduced by the authorities to ensure that only a limited number of birds is caught. "Since the season started we have conducted night surveys which proved that the majority of trapping sites registred for plovers are manned and active during the night when the plovers migrate and enforcement is at zero", CABS Press Officer Axel Hirschfeld said.

Our actual press relaese and a new video can be found here »»


Italy bans bird trapping
A milestone for the protection of migratory birds in Europe (03.12.14)

The Italian government has finally banned the catching of wild birds today. The last major trapping installations (known as ‘Roccoli’) which were still active in Northern Italy must immediately cease operations. For many years the issue has been raised with the European Union for the blatant breach of the EU Birds Directive. The campaign was initiated by the Italian Organisations LIPU and LAC and the Committee Against Bird Slaughter (CABS).

The exciting details of this huge success can be found here »»


Sardinia camp has come to an end
2,010 illegal snares dismantled - 5 poachers convicted (01.12.2014)

Dismantling of illegal snares on SardiniaDismantling of illegal snares on SardiniaAfter four weeks of fieldwork our Sardinia camp has now come to an end. A total of 2,010 horsehair snares (for trapping songbirds) and approximately 30 wire snares (for trapping wild boar and deer) were collected across the Italian Mediterranean island. A total of 5 poachers were convicted thanks to our investigations. Two other men with previous convictions for illegal trapping and prohibition orders preventing access the trapping sites, were once again found to be operating within the prohibited areas. Furthermore, the police seized more than 500 frozen birds from warrants executed at residential properties. The next CABS camp on Sardinia begins at Christmas - starting on December 25!

Read more about our camps on Sardinia here »»


Italy: Brescia bird protection camp concludes
Historic low incidents of poaching in Northern Italy (04.11.2014)

Shot HawfinchShot HawfinchThe CABS bird protection camp in Brescia (Northern Italy) has come to a successful end after four weeks. The 60 volunteers who have taken part since 3 October searched for and located numerous illegal bird trapping sites across the Southern Alps. These locations were either reported to police or mist nets and traps dismantled and destroyed in situ. Based on information we provided to police 39 poachers were caught red handed and 735 bow traps, 398 snap traps, 56 mist nets and 23 limesticks were collected by volunteers or seized by the police. This is the lowest number of trapping devices found since the camp first began in 1984. The decline in illegal poaching continues!

A detailed report will be be published during November. Until then, you can see a summary report in the Camp Dairy dated 03/11/2014 »»


CABS and SPA release their Cyprus Spring 2014 Bird Protection Camp Field Report (05.09.2014)

In 2014, the 7th Spring Bird Protection Camp was conducted over a period of four weeks, from 6 to 19 April and from 28 to 9 May, to cover the most of the pre-nuptial migration. A total of 11 volunteers, from Cyprus, Germany, Italy, Hungary and Slovenia participated in the camp. As a result of the 23 days of joint operations with the Cyprus Police Anti-Poaching Squad, 2,256 limesticks, 27 mist nets and 10 electronic decoys were seized. In addition, more than 700 protected wild birds were found dead and collected as evidences, while dozens of birds in captivity were released from traps and aviaries. In total, 15 poachers were caught red-handed and prosecuted by the Anti-Poaching Squad of the Cyprus Police.

You can download the report here »»