Welcome to the Committee Against Bird Slaughter (CABS)
"Extending our frontiers - birds have no boundaries!"
Bonelli’s Eagle - stolen eaglets are recovered
Police arrest bird thieves in a raid in Piedmont, N. Italy (16.06.2013)
The State Forest Police have struck a remarkable blow against the illegal trade in wild birds in Italy. In May this year nest thieves stole two Bonelli’s Eagle chicks from a nest in Sicily. The eaglets were in an eyrie that was part of a nest-watching project supported by CABS. Unfortunately the site was not categorised as highly threatened and only spot checks were made - during one of the checks the young birds were discovered to be missing.
After a month of intensive investigation the police finally were able to raid a suspect isolated property near Alessandria in Piedmont, surprise the offenders and make an arrest. A clandestine workshop for the reproduction of bird rings were discovered in the building as well as forged CITES certificates purporting to prove that the birds had been bred in captivity, climbing and poaching equipment and numerous dead birds in a deep freeze. Six live Peregrine Falcons were also found. The offenders will now be prosecuted on charges of violation of CITES legislation, illegal hunting and animal cruelty. The freed birds were taken to a rehabilitation station and are being prepared for later release into the wild.
You can read about the background to this case here here »»
CABS, Jonathan Franzen and Emptying the skies
World premiere of the film about CABS in England
The activist operations by the Committee Against Bird Slaughter for better protection of migrant birds are the theme of a new documentary film that has its world premiere at the Sheffield Docs Film Festival this weekend. Under the title Emptying the skies the New York bestselling author Jonathan Franzen and director Roger Kass expose how millions of European songbirds land in the cooking pot every year, under the pretext of retaining ‘old traditions’ and ‘sustainable use’. The screenplay centres on a group of international activists from the Committee Against Bird Slaughter, who travel every year in spring and autumn to the poaching hotspots - mainly in Southern Europe - to combat illegal bird hunting and trapping.
You can see the trailer to the film here »»
You can find our press release dated 14 June 2013 here »»
CABS delegation visits the European Commission in Brussels
Discussions on bird trapping and hunting in the Mediterranean (13.06.2013)
Activism must be backed up by lobby work. A CABS delegation met and had useful discussions with various departments of the Environment Directorate of the European Commission in Brussels on 12 and 13 June 2013. Over the past months CABS has made a number of official complaints to the Commission about bird trapping and hunting and trapping in several EU member states, above all France, Italy and Spain. On the invitation of the Environment Directorate CABS representatives had the opportunity to discuss the problems and possible solutions face to face with the responsible desk officers.
One focus of the discussions was illegal bird trapping with limesticks in Spain - you can read more about this matter here »»
Italy - Parliamentary committee debates bird hunting
Landmark draft law under close scrutiny (05.06.2013)
From the 5 June a parliamentary committee of the Italian Senate is meeting to scrutinise a draft law on the hunting of finches, pipits and other bird species protected throughout Europe. Following an official environmental complaint made by the Committee Against Bird Slaughter in Brussels, the European commission has put pressure on the government in Rome demanding improvements in Italian hunting legislation. The draft law, which includes proposals made by CABS for better protection of migrant birds, is now subject to close scrutiny by the parliamentary committee. The committee meeting in Rome is of great importance for the future of hunting in Italy and beyond its borders as well. It will demonstrate whether Brussels has the power to persuade a large members state to comply with the provisions of the EU bird protection guidelines.
You can read more on this important matter here »»
First CABS camp at the Straits of Messina ends successfully
Eight poachers caught - more than 600 birds seized (16.05.2013)
The first bird protection camp conducted by CABS at the Straits of Messina ended on 15 May after three weeks of operations.
The results of this first CABS operation in the region were more than satisfactory. Four bird of prey poachers, four trappers and an illegal taxidermist were arrested in cooperation with the state forest police. One shotgun, three mist nets and more than 600 dead birds were seized. In addition 29 birds - 17 Goldfinches, 9 Collared Doves and three Ravens were confiscated from the trappers and released into the wild.
You can read more about the Straits of Messina bird protection camp here »»
Italy - Ponza bird protection camp ends (15.05.2013)
The joint CABS(LAC bird protection operations on the Mediterranean island of Ponza ended today. Volunteers have continually monitored the most important hunting and trapping areas on the small island since mid-April and so almost entirely curbed all poaching activity. Only in the first few days were occasional shots heard, 25 traps were found and disabled and a poacher filmed and reported to the police. Thereafter - and for the next three weeks - the migrant song birds were able to fly onwards to their breeding grounds unscathed.
You can find out more about our operations on the Southern Italian here »»
Bonelli’s Eagle chicks fledge in Italy
Police investigate egg thefts on Sicily (14.05.13)
Italy’s last rump population of Bonelli’s Eagles - only 22 pairs bred this year - live on Sicily. The birds are cherished by falconers and bird collectors and are threatened by the actions of unscrupulous wildlife traders. Since 2012 the Committee Against Bird Slaughter has participated in a large scale nest monitoring operation on the Mediterranean island. Nonetheless, despite all precautions, egg thieves managed to plunder one of the nests. A few days ago, in the area of the small town of Campobello di Licata, two eagle chicks were stolen from an eyrie. The police are investigating. The remaining 21 nests remain untouched thanks to the volunteers who participated in the nest watch. The operation will continue until the last chick has fledged.
You can read more on the new Italian CABS project here»»
Calabria - Taxidermist charged
610 dead birds seized after tip-off from CABS (08.05.2013)
Following a tip-off from CABS the State Forest Police have struck a severe blow against poaching in Calabria (Southern Italy). The search of a taxidermist’s property led to the seizure of 610 dead birds by police officers. The search of a taxidermist’s property led to the seizure of 610 dead birds by police officers. In addition to relatively common bird species such as gulls and crows, Honey Buzzards, Greater and Lesser Spotted Eagles, Capercaillie, Golden Orioles, Bee-eaters, numerous song birds, many protected marine organisms such as starfish and a Porbeagle (a species of mackerel shark) as well as a wild cat were found.
You can read a short report here »»
Cyprus - Bird Protection Camp comes to a successful end
3,272 traps and 44 mist nets seized - 20 poachers caught red-handed (6.5.2013)
The major CABS and Foundation Pro Biodiversity spring bird protection camp on Cyprus ended on a sober but nonetheless high note of 5 May 2013. A total of 3,272 limesticks, 44 mist nets and 16 electronic decoy devices were found and dismantled. In close cooperation with the police 20 poachers were caught red-handed and will be prosecuted - a new record! The only low note was the withdrawal of police support after 3 weeks. Our joint operations had been so successful that the government gave in to the pressure of the influential illegal trapping lobby who ordered the police to cease cooperating with our teams. During the last few days of the camp the local police refused to assist us when we reported illegal trapping sites and tolerated the illegalities. This is unacceptable behaviour from an EU member state.
The camp blog with the total provisional results can be read here »»
Malta - CABS publishes video evidence from the spring bird protection camp
Man with a young boy filmed activating nets on trapping site (02.05.2013)
CABS has now published comprehensive video material and More than 590 contraventions of hunting and nature protection legislation were recorded by the 20 international Bird Guards, including the shooting of protected birds of prey, herons and cuckoos, bird trapping with mist nets, clap nets and cage traps, the illegal use of electronic decoy devices, hunting with automatic weapons, hunting on main roads and in other public areas as well as some 496 breaches of the afternoon and Sunday hunting curfew.
Our press release of 2 May 2013 can be found here »»
The CABS Malta spring camp video can be seen here »»
Malta bird protection camp comes to an end
Over 500 offences against Maltese and EU nature protection laws recorded (28.04.2013)
The CABS spring bird protection camp on Malta and Gozo has come to an end. A total of 20 conservationists from Germany, Great Britain, Ireland and Spain took part in the 10 day camp. A total of over 500 offences against nature protection and hunting laws were registered. Acting on information provided by CABS field teams the police seized 10 mist and clap nets and several poachers were filmed contravening the law. A final report and a short video documentary will be published soon.
You can read three reports on the CABS spring camp at the links below:
Malta - Massive blow against illegal trapping »»
Hunters target protected species and violate private property on Gozo »»
Gozo - Hunters’ Exodus: CABS puts birds and tourists first »»
Operation Problem Estates – state-wide controls of hunting in North-Rhine Westphalia
Police seize illegal traps – dead birds of prey found (26.02.2013)
In the fight against the illegal persecution of birds of prey and other predators more than 40 suspicious hunting estates in the German federal state of North-Rhine Westphalia were searched by CABS teams over the past five days. The operation uncovered 18 illegal trapping installations, seven dead Common Buzzards and a single case of probable poisoned bait. The responsible authorities were informed of all finds. The areas affected included the Rural Districts of Borken, Steinfurt, Coesfeld, Kleve, Euskirchen, Höxter and the Rhine district of Neuss. A total of 14 conservationists and eight police officers took part in Operation Problem Estates. For part of the operation the conservationists were accompanied by a regional (WDR) television camera team.
Our press release can be found here »»
Malta Autumn Bird Protection Camp
CABS publishes Final Report (05.11.12)
In the time frame 14.09 to 06.10.2012 a total of 32 volunteers from Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Poland, Romania, the UK and the USA took part in the large scale CABS bird protection camp on Malta. Over a period of three weeks , in morning and evening shifts, the nature and bird lovers monitored the most important passage routes and roosts across the archipelago and recorded more than 330 contraventions of Maltese and EU hunting and nature protection legislation. .
You can find our detailed and comprehensive final report on the camp here »»
Online account of CABS Cyprus autumn camp (30.11.2012)
It is hard to claim victory in our Cyprus campaign when, at night, one hears dozens of electronic lures calling to attract the warblers to their death at dawn and one is sadly aware that hundreds of birds, among them rare protected European species, will be trapped and killed at each of the sites. On the bright side, at the two sites we visit at dawn with a Cyprus police escort, we are able to rescue and free the birds and know that the site will not be in use for a few weeks at least. With a bit of luck the poacher will be caught and charged as well. So there is a certain flavour of victory, even though it is still an uphill struggle with only our teams and the volunteers of the Migratory Birds Conservation Cyprus (MBCC) actively conducting anti-poaching activities on the island. . You can read a vivid account of our experiences this autumn on Cyprus here » »
The Lebanon - Hunting of Cranes, Pelicans, Storks and birds of prey
CABS and LEM start joint campaign against illegal hunting of migrant birds (18.12.2012)
We have received shocking photos from the Lebanon showing the mass slaughter of migrating European White Storks, Common Cranes, Honey Buzzards, Falcons, Eagles and endangered song bird species. This occurs each year although hunting has been banned completely in this Near East state for years. The Lebanon Eco Movement (LEM) with financial and logistic support from CABS are currently working on a campaign to stop this annual massacre.
You can learn more about bird hunting ion the Lebanon – highlighted by shocking photos published online by the hunters themselves - here »»
Bird protection camp in Eastern Spain ends
40 Trapping installations located - 1,640 limesticks dismantled (29.10.2012)
Although the European Court of Justice has declared bird trapping in the region illegal, and since 2003 the regional authorities have no longer issued permits to trap, some 1,500 huge trapping ‚factories‘ are still in operation in East Spain. As a rule the police decline to act against the massive use of limesticks and the installations are simply tolerated. CABS sent a small international team to the region around Valencia from 22 to 28 October in order to, together with its local partners GECEN, AE-Agró und GER-EA monitor, monitor and record the operation of the illegal installations. 40 of the huge trapping installations were located. As the police refused to act the CABS volunteers took the matter into their own hands and dismantled a total of 1,640 limesticks.
You can find more information on the problem of the limestick trapping installations in Spain here »»
Fighter for Bird Protection
Obituary: Committee founder Dr Inge Jaffke (06.01.2013)
Dr Inge Jaffke founded the Komitee gegen den Vogelmord (now known internationally as the Committee Against Bird Slaughter (CABS)) and was at the co-helm of its activities for more than 20 years. Her work to combat bird hunting in the Wadden Sea, wild bird trapping and trade in Germany, for better migrant bird protection in the Mediterranean and standardised bird conservation in the European Union, made her one of the most successful conservationists of the generation. Dr Inge Jaffke died in Hamburg on 31 October 2012 aged 86.
You can read a full obituary on the founder of the Committee here »»