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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 »»

Autumn actions 2014 come to an end
More than 16.700 traps and nets dismantled (07.12.2014)

With the end of our last bird protection camp in Malta also concludes our field operations against bird poaching this autumn. Since 30/07/2014, more than 150 volunteers from all corners of Europe have assisted the authorities by participating in our bird protection camps in France, Spain, Italy, Malta and Cyprus. Overall, 13,175 limesticks, 2,010 horsehair snares, 736 Bow traps, 399 Snap traps, 166 other animal traps and 247 nets were found and removed. 119 poachers were arrested thanks to intelligence gained from our field investigations.

Read more details about the bird protection camps in our online diary»»

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 »»

Malta: Massive bird trapping inside NATURA 2000 sites
Newly-built trapping sites operate despite legislation (18.11.2014)

Malta: Bird trappers have literally carpeted large areas of protected coastline habitats with hundreds of trapping sites, CABS said today. Aerial surveys conducted by the organisation resulted so far in the count of a minimum of 290 active bird trapping installations within NATURA 2000 protected zones on Malta and Gozo. On their webpage and on Facebook CABS have published aerial pictures which furnish proof of the high density of active clap nets as well as destruction of protected vegetation inside NATURA 2000 sites near Zurrieq and Hal Far. Counts of trapping sites in other protected landscapes, such as garrigue are still being calculated, as well as sites with too many nets and sites with nets larger than the allowed size.

Read more in our actual press release »»

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 »»

Autumn Bird Protection Camp in Spain ends
29 poachers arrested and 9,500 limesticks seized (02.11.2014)

The CABS bird protection camp in Eastern Spain has now finished. Over the course of the 10 day camp across the provinces of Alicante, Valencia, Castellon and Tarragona and in cooperation with the Guardia Civil, a total of 23 trapping installations known as ‘Parany’ (used to target thrushes and warblers) were dismantled and a huge haul of 9,500 limesticks seized. Each night the police conducted patrols between 7pm-7am to search and check the large trapping enclosures which are stocked full with limesticks and operated only during the hours of darkness. As a result, 29 poachers were apprehended. Unlike previous years, the number of active parany has declined significantly - seems our actions are making a difference!

A small final report will be published later in November.

Malta: CABS praises PM´s decision to close hunting season (20.09.14)

CABS today welcomed the decision of the Maltese government to close the hunting season due to the large number of protected birds killed in the last days. “We raise our hats to the Prime minister for having the nerves to make this momentous decision. I am sure it was a tough call but the situation was really out of control in parts of the island.”, CABS president Heinz Schwarze said. “After months of empty rethoric coming from his Parliamentary Secretary for Animal Rights Dr Muscat has shown that he really means business”.

Our press release can be found here »»

Read an actual article in the Times of Malta »»

Operation "Fatal flight" to begin on Friday
NGO confirms ´massive´ ALE turnover (10.09.2014)

In the last days autumn migration of birds has kicked in with good numbers of Marsh Harriers, falcons as well as the first flocks of herons and Honey Buzzards as well as a total of more than 100 Greater Flamingos arriving and roosting on Malta and Gozo, CABS said today. To ensure the safe passage of protected birds CABS announced that it will conduct a large ´bird protection camp´ against illegal hunting and bird trapping on Malta from September 12 until 5 October. A total of 18 experienced birdwatchers as well as a number of local supporters will be involved in operation "Fatal flight". CABS confirmed reports about a massive turnover and the forced transfer of many experienced ALE seargents and officers in the last months.

Read our actual press release here »»

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 »»