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Welcome to the Committee Against Bird Slaughter (CABS)

Cyprus autumn bird protection camp has come to an end
27 poachers caught, 1,969 limesticks dismantled (28.11.2019)

Our autumn bird protection camp on Cyprus is now complete. In the 85-day campaign since the end of August, we have found and dismantled 1,969 limesticks and 87 nets, and 770 birds have been released directly from illegal traps. The police and the Game Fund wardens have convicted 27 poachers as a result of our field investigations. The numbers are remarkable: it is the longest mission CABS have ever conducted on Cyprus, the number of limesticks is at a historical low (in autumn 2018 it was still 2,596), yet the number of arrests is unusually high (last autumn it was only 16 people). But there are not only positive signs: the increased shooting of protected species and the increased use of forbidden decoys in hunting is a cause for concern. The poachers have little room to manoeuvre: The participants for CABS winter bird protection camp are already in the starting blocks - next week we start!

Read more about the CABS Cyprus campaigns here »»

New CABS video: Night shooting on owls and nightjars in Lebanon (08.11.2019)

For the first time, our latest CABS video shows the large-scale indiscriminate night poaching of protected migratory birds occurring each autumn in northern Lebanon. During the recent CABS bird protection camp – in conjunction with the Middle Eastern Sustainable Hunting Centre (MESHC), Society for the Protection of Nature in Lebanon and Association for Bird Conservation in Lebanon جمعية حماية الطيور في لبنان, our team documented night shooting on the mountain ridges around the district of Danniyeh, Northern Governorate. Dozens of poachers were filmed using loud electro-acoustic lures and bright lamps to target protected species such as nightjar, scops owls, corncrake and any other passing migratory bird. As highlighted in international media, in recent weeks, protests have broken out across the country in objection to corruption and lack of democracy. Environmental concerns have also been raised and we can only hope in solidarity with our Lebanese friends that this may soon lead to more pro-active measures for better bird protection.

See the new CABS video here »»

Malta: CABS report 38 cases of poaching
Video shows trappers targeting protected finches (30.10.2019)

38 cases of illegal bird trapping within 10 days on Malta & Gozo: Video shows trappers targeting protected finches. In the last 10 days CABS teams have uncovered large scale and widespread illegal trapping of protected songbirds on the coasts of Malta and Gozo. A total of 18 cases were reported to the police who confiscated 15 sets of clap nets and approximately 50 live birds. Five trappers were caught red-handed by the police and will be taken to court in due course. Another 13 poachers ran off when they saw the police arriving, but CABS is optimistic that they will be subsequently identified. Furthermore, 20 additional finch trapping sites which have been confirmed as recently active from both an aerial survey and field investigations have also been reported to the police for further investigation.

Our recent press relaese as wel as the new CABS video can be found here »»

Success in court: no bird trapping in Italy! (11.10.2019)

Yesterday afternoon, the administrative court in Milan overturned the planned bird trapping permit in Lombardy. The government there had approved the capture of a total of 12,700 blackbirds, song thrushes, redwing and fieldfare with nets. The intention was to keep and confine the birds for use as live decoys in songbird hunting. Only a few days ago, the EU Commission issued an urgent warning to Italy not to allow the trapping to take place. Yesterday, the court finally rejected the law due to incompatibility with the EU Birds Directive. The great success was only possible through a formal complaint lodged by CABS and our Italian partner LAC - Lega per l'Abolizione della Caccia. A good day for the birds!sels is the only body that can put a stop to Lombardy plans.

Lebanon: Minister of Environment and European ambassadors visits the CABS bird protection camp (08.10.2019)

Today Minister Fadi Jreissati (Minister of Environment) and the ambassardors from Poland, Denmark, Austria and Germany as well as the head of Section for Economy and Development of the EU and other diplomats visited the CABS bird protection camp in Eghbe/Lebanon, one of the poaching hotspots east of Beirut. During the last 20 days a total of 38 nets and 16 bird callers have been seized in collaboration with ISF authorities. CABS’ actions and reports have led to the arrest of 19 poachers. Despite this success CABS and it´s local partners SPNL, MESHC and ABCL used the opportunity to demand more enforcement in other poaching hotspots like in the region of Akkar and Dennieh.

Read our recent press release here »»

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 »»

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 »»

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 »»

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 »»