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Welcome to the Committee Against Bird Slaughter (CABS)

Cyprus: Winter camp ends
137 nets and 118 limesticks dismantled (18.02.2018)

Today marks the end of our five-week winter operation in Cyprus and the results are in: 137 nets, 118 limesticks, four poachers prosecuted. Our volunteers have been on the Mediterranean island since the beginning of January and have done a really great job! More than 500 birds were released from the traps. The penalties for the poachers are also something to be proud of: two have to pay €500 each for illegal use of decoys, the other two charged for bird trapping with nets received fines of €5,000 and €8,000, respectively! Thanks to all camp participants for the great work and resilience, and of course thank you to all sponsors for the support!

Read more about the CABS bird protection camps on Cyprus here»»

Huge CABS operation in Italy:
11 poachers and 2 songbird traders caght red-handed (10.02.2018)

Sting against illegal bird poaching in Italy: In Southern Calabria, CABS, together with the Carabinieri Environmental Unit, have conducted a successful operation against poaching. In Aspromonte - the "boot tip" of Italy - 11 ‘hunters’ and 2 illegal traders have been arrested. The hunters had illegally shot protected species, used unauthorised weapons and electronic decoys. 11 shotguns were seized, as well as numerous shot birds, including chaffinches, great spotted woodpeckers, wagtails, goldfinch and siskins (photo). The pet traders were found to be in possession of more than 200 illegally caught chaffinches. It was the first big operation this year in Italy!

Read more about our campaigns in Southern Italy here »»

Activities 2017

Committee Against Bird Slaughter publishes its annual report (22.12.2017)

This year, 2017, was one of the most intensive and successful years in the history of CABS - Committee Against Bird Slaughter. Altogether more than 160 volunteers from 17 European states participated in 25 bird protection camps in the Mediterranean region. The results speak for themselves - in the course of our operations in France, Italy, Spain, Serbai and Croatia as well as on Cyprus, Malta and the Lebanon around 8.000 bird traps, mist nets or decoy devices were located and seized. In addition more than 100 trappers and poachers face prosecution.

You can read all about this very successful year in our Annual Report 2017 .

Malta: Ineffective enforcement
CABS writes open letter to the police (13.12.2017)

Open letter from CABS to the Commissioner of the Malta Police Force. While illegal night trapping of Golden Plovers and other nocturnal birds goes on unabated CABS has complained that 36 of 43 police reports made during night hours were not acted upon. As a result of this situation only 3 known cases - representing less than 2% of all night-incidents reported by CABS since November 2014 – resulted in charges being issued to the offenders. "Such a low prosecution rate is nothing else than a declaration of bankruptcy of the Malta Police Force in dealing with a severe conservation problem", Schwarze wrote to the Commissioner.

You can download the full text of our letter to the Commissioner here »»

Sardinia/Italy: 500 horse hair snares destroyed (09.12.2017)

Today marks the completion of our bird protection camp in Sardinia. For a week, five CABS members, together with colleagues from the Italian League Against Animal Cruelty (LAV), have been out in the field searching for illegal horsehair snares in the south of the Mediterranean island. In total, we were able to find and destroy 500 of the very fine bird traps and 100 wire snares for catching mammals. A poacher was convicted with the help of a hidden camera and another offender is still being investigated. The operation has been a great success: 10 years ago we would typically find around 10,000 horsehair snares - the massive decline in poaching is a nice result of our operations in Sardinia since 1995.

More informations about our work on the Island of Sardinia can be found here »»

Brescia: 48 poachers caught red-handed (05.11.2017)

Today marks the end of our Bird Protection Camp in Brescia, Northern Italy: as the winter creeps in and the frosts begin to bite, we have ended our 5-week mission in the Alpine mountains between Lake Garda and Lake Iseo on Sunday. Over the course of the operation, approximately 50 participants have found 73 active trapping sites and a total of 96 bow traps, 630 snap traps, 41 mist nets,15 small nets and 7 cage traps. The police have also convicted 48 poachers based on our findings. In premises searches conducted by the authorities, another 62 trapping nets and around 450 frozen songbirds were seized. More than 800 live finches, thrushes, tits and robins were handed over to CABS for release.

Cyprus: Almost 3,500 bird traps collected! (04.11.2017)

Today marks the end of the CABS Bird Protection Camp on Cyprus. Since the end of August, more than 30 nature and animal friends from Great Britain, Germany, Italy, France, Slovenia, Switzerland, Serbia, Poland, Hungary, Cyprus and the USA have been working on the Mediterranean island. In 9 weeks they found 3,353 limesticks, 143 nets and 96 electronic decoys and dismantled them together with the police and the Game Fund. 20 poachers were prosecuted based on our findings. 420 birds were liberated from the illegal traps, including many warbler species, owls, shrikes and also many redstarts. The bird migration is over now and the poaching will mostly stop for a short time. We will launch our next operation on Cyprus when the winter trapping season begins in just a few weeks.

Find more informations abour our Cyprus campaign here »»

Malta: Songbird trapping in ful swing (01.11.2017)

Despite the pending lawsuit in the European Court of Justice, songbird trapping on Malta is now in full swing. In order to secure the votes of trappers for the next election, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat has authorised the approval of an incredible 6,000 (six thousand!) licenses to trap finches, thrushes and plovers. All over the Maltese archipelago, decoys are now singing and inadvertently luring their species into the trappers nets (see photo). CABS teams are in place and ready to document the mass catch for the European Commission. In the process, our teams also frequently encounter active sites where the trappers have extensively destroyed the strictly protected garrigue (Mediterranean dwarf shrub heath). In the last two weeks alone, a total of 140 such cases were reported to the WBRU (Wild Bird Regulation Unit), whom now intend to examine each case individually.

Read more about our work on Malta here »»

Cyprus: Chris Packham publishs new videos (20.10.2017)

This September, BBC naturalist and TV presenter Chris Packham joined up with fellow Brits Megan McCubbin & Georgia Locock to present a series of short films – Cyprus: Massacre on Migration 2017. During their stay, they caught up with our CABS team on the ground, learning about the industrial scale trapping of migratory songbirds on the island and to see how our teams operate in often hostile circumstances, helping the authorities bring illegal trappers to justice and saving as many birds as possible. Several different episodes will be shared over the next week on Chris’s website:

"Cyprus: Massacre On Migration 2017"

Lebanon: Honey Buzzard Massacre
Second video from Mount Lebanon now online (12.09.2017)

NEW VIDEO: Bird Guards film raptor massacre beyond all imagination in the Lebanon. After our teams documented and reported the slaughter of dozens of protected birds of prey to the Lebanese authorities last week they returned to the killing fields in Aghbeh to see if the situation has improved. The opposite was the case. On Sunday – a day with a very strong Honey Buzzard migration - the participants of the CABS & SPNL expedition to Lebanon found the remains of another 70 freshly killed Honey Buzzards. While we were filming the gruesome discovery poachers continued with shooting down protected birds with impunity.

You'll find the new 8 minute movie here »»

Bird protection campaign in Lebanon:
First CABS field operation in the Middle East (01.09.2017)

01.09.2017 marks the first CABS field operation in the Middle East. To support the Lebanese Government in the fight against poaching, the Committee and the Society for the Protection of Nature in Lebanon (SPNL) have organised a bird protection camp in the Cedar State for the first time this September 2017. The event named ‘Operation Safe Haven’ will be held during the peak migration period for the passage of White Storks between 1 - 15 September. Supported by local birdwatchers, six CABS experts from Germany, Italy, France, Great Britain and Turkey will monitor known poaching hotspots and document the killing of protected species and report them to the police. The action on the border with the Syrian civil war region is the most dangerous in our history.

Read more about migratory bird hunting in the Lebanon here »»