Malta – 04. 05. 2019
Six bird poachers convicted in one stroke – CABS
Skull-mask trapper and accomplices found guilty, lose licences
Malta. Busy days at court for CABS staff and volunteers. This week the law court in Valletta (Malta) heard 7 cases of poachers accused of illegally trapping birds during the closed season or offering wild-caught birds for sale. All cases were reported to the police by CABS and ended with a conviction and the revocation of the hunting and trapping licences of the defendants. “We hope that these successful prosecutions will serve as a strong deterrent and we are pleased that our intensive efforts to bring these criminals to justice are being rewarded”, CABS president Heinz Schwarze said.
The first case involved three men who were filmed in March 2017 trapping finches with a clap net in Fomm ir Rih. The court heard that one of the accused wore a white skull mask, another covered his face with a neckerchief when operating the illegal site, and one tried to hide. The men kept their faces hidden until leaving the trapping site, when CABS video evidence enabled the police to identify them. All three men were found guilty and received a 1,600 Euros fine. The court also ordered the revocation of their hunting and trapping licenses for three years.
In two separate cases the same trapper was found guilty of illegally trapping Golden Plovers at San Martin during night-time, using an illegal bird caller and subsequently offering wild-caught plovers for sale on the internet. The case was reported to the police by CABS whose volunteers discovered the trapping site and provided the authorities with evidence of his illegal sale activities. After hearing the evidence Magistrate Anthony Vella ordered him to pay a fine of 700 Euros and suspended his hunting and trapping licence for two years.
A bird trapper at Burmarrad was handed a 1,000 Euro fine and had his licences revoked for two years after he was found guilty of illegally trapping Golden Plovers during night hours in December 2016. CABS noted that during the hearing the trappers' lawyer tried to prevent the CABS witness testifying by falsely accusing her of trespassing, despite that court acquitted her last year after it was proved she was assisting police with their investigation.
In the last case a bird trapper from Maghtab had to take responsibility for trapping finches without the necessary permits in November 2016. His illegal trapping site was discovered during a CABS aerial survey and later reported to the police who subsequently caught the man red-handed. He got a 1,000 Euro fine and a two year license suspension.
Contact for video footage and more information: CABS Press Officer Axel Hirschfeld, fon +0049 179 480 3805 or Email to CABS@komitee.de