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Welcome to the Committee Against Bird Slaughter (CABS)

Cyprus: The Long Night Raid:
CABS dismantles 274 nets in 10 hours within the British Base (19/01/2017)

The Committee Against Bird Slaughter (CABS) has today revealed the massive scale of bird trapping in the UK-governed Sovereign Base Area (SBA) in Cyprus. More than ten kilometers of illegal nets were detected in just two nights and 274 nets were removed.

CABS carried out a two-day anti-poaching operation under the name ‘The Long Night Raid’, deploying a number of volunteers to investigate trapping activity in the whole territory of the SBA. Although a relatively small area, the amount of trapping sites and mist nets found was astonishing.

Our press release can be found here »»

CABS Campaigns and Operations 2016
Our Annual Report is presented online (10.01.2017)

As the year has come to an end it is time to look back at our campaigns and operations during 2016. Altogether more than 140 volunteers from 9 European countries (+ the USA and Malysia) took part in our bird protection camps in the Mediterranean. We can be rightfully proud of the results. In the course of our operations on Cyprus and Malta, in France, Italy and Spain, a total of more than 10,000 bird traps, mist nets or decoy devices were located and dismantled. Criminal proceedings were instigated against more than 180 illegal trappers and poachers.

You can read more about our successful activities this past year in our Annual Report 2016.

Poaching in the British military areas in Cyprus
British Government reacts to the CABS protest campaign (12.12.2016)

The British Government reacts to the CABS protest campaign which we launched back in September 2016 against the industrial scale songbird trapping occurring in the British military areas within Cyprus. Subsequently, thousands of nature lovers from all over Europe have adding their voice to our campaign asking the British Prime Minister - Theresa May - to take decisive action against the ongoing illegal killing. Meanwhile, we have received a reply from the Commander-in-Chief of the British Army who, on behalf of the Government, outlines their view of the situation. In our reply of 14 December, 2016, we have formally responded to the Chief of Staff and refuting a whole series of his arguments and outlying the facts on the ground as we see them from our field investigations.

We have the letters here for you to download »»

Our press release on this subject, can be found here »»

Malta: Golden Plover trapping out of control (13.12.2016)

The Maltese government´s total failure to curb with illegal night trapping of Golden Plovers has invited poachers to catch much more birds than allowed. In the last two weeks our volunteers have conducted night patrols and found 82 active trapping sites where illegal bird callers were used during the night. This is more than twice as many as found in 2015. Golden Plovers are mostly nocturnal thus making it very easy for trappers to catch whole flocks in the dark. With dozens of trapping sites operating every night on Malta and Gozo it stands to reason that a four-figure number has been already caught illegally since November. As the quota for plovers has been exceeded CABS has called on Prime Minister Joseph Muscat to close the trapping season with immediate effect.

Read our press release here »»

Bird trapper caught in Düren, Germany (09.11.2016)

Bird trapper caught in Düren, Germany: Following a tip off from a member of the public, yesterday CABS staff shut down a huge trapping site in a garden in the west of North Rhine-Westphalia. Together with the police and the District Veterinary Office we unveiled 16 Songbird traps, 3 raptor traps and 2 mist nets (photo) and found 34 protected birds. The garden in the district of Düren was designed with the purpose of catching birds and then advertising them for sale over the internet. Besides, bullfinches, serin, redpoll and siskins, several goldfinches were found and referred to a local wild bird sanctuary. The trapper confessed responsibility and can expect a criminal case for violation of the Federal Nature Conservation Act.

CABS Bird protection camp Brescia completed
More than 1000 traps and nets seized, 56 poachers caught (06.11.2016)

Today our large bird protection camp in Brescia (Northern Italy) comes to a close. Since 1st October a total of 78 dedicated volunteers from all over Europe have come together and collected 287 bow traps, 923 snap traps and 68 large mist nets. 56 bird trappers (55 men, one woman) were arrested as a result of our findings. Most notable is the sharp decline in the use of bow traps: 15 years ago we regularly found over 10,000, so this year’s total of 277 marks a historic low! The robin in the photo was found in one of these cruel traps near the commune of Tavernole and unfortunately could be saved with its legs completely shattered. A small CABS team will remain in Brescia for another week to help clear the last known traps.

Read more about our work in Northern Italy here »»

Cyprus: 4.112 limesticks and 181 nets seized
20 poachers caught red-handed during bird protection camp (22.10.2016)

Today marks the end of our large autumn bird protection camp in Cyprus. Over the course of the last 6 weeks in the South-east of the Mediterranean island, we have found and collected 4,112 limesticks, 181 large mist nets and 110 electronic decoys; 29 poachers were arrested as a result of our investigations. Nearly 700 birds were released directly (including the two Scops owl in the photo) and countless others have no doubt avoided otherwise being trapped. However, there has been a marked increase in the number of cases since autumn 2015 – last year, we found 2,730 limesticks and 151 networks. The migration period for most small birds is now over and with the end of the season we also leave the island. Our next deployment in Cyprus will be in just a few months’ time to look for illegal nets targeting wintering thrushes.

More informations about the bird protection camps in Cyprus can be found here »»

Join our latest protest campaign against Bird Slaughter in Cyprus

Cyprus remains a key problem child for wildlife conservation and international protection of migratory birds. By far the worst areas are the UK military bases in the south of the Mediterranean island. Combined, these areas - considered property of the Crown and Defence Department official British Overseas Territories - equate to just 230 square kilometers of land. Yet each year poachers enter unperturbed, constructing huge trapping installations to catch hundreds of thousands of small birds with huge nets. The Committee Against Bird Slaughter has launched an international protest to the new British Prime Minister. Add your voice!

More information about our e-petition can be found here »»

The CABS Spring Bird Protection Camps 2016 (24.05.2016)

From 24 February – 15 May 2016, a total of 88 CABS members and volunteers have convened to participate in a total of 11 spring bird protection camps across Italy, Malta and Cyprus. The fruits of our labor speaks for itself: in the 12 week period we have collected 1,817 limesticks, 66 mist nets, 151 snap traps. Thanks to our field investigations police caught 38 poachers red handed – along with 7 illegally held firearms, 2,572 rounds of ammunition and 1,100 frozen songbirds. Nearly 400 birds were freed from traps, nets and cages of illegal bird traders.

You can find pour report with all camp results here »»

French trappers sentenced after attack on CABS (31.3.2016)

A gang of poachers who attacked a CABS vehicle and four team members in August 2014, have been found guilty by the court in Dax, South West France. The men surrounded and stopped the car after a CABS team unveiled a number of illegal trappings sites set to target Ortolan Bunting. After hearing the evidence, the court ruled a guilty verdict on 5 perpetrators for aggressive assault and criminal damage. They have received prison sentences ranging from 2 to 4 months on probation and must pay several thousand euros and guarantee compensation.The video of the attack and subsequent chase can be found here:

Ortolan trappers violently attack bird activists

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 »»