Komitee gegen den Vogelmord e.V. Committee Against Bird Slaughter (CABS)

Komitee gegen den Vogelmord e. V.
Committee Against Bird Slaughter (CABS)

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Malta – 25. 09. 2020

CABS release more evidence for indiscriminate poaching in Has-Saptan valley

Government urged to implement local hunting ban and establish permanent police presence

Malta. The Committee Against Bird Slaughter (CABS) has released further video evidence of the indiscriminate killing of protected migratory birds in Has-Saptan valley (Birzebbugia). The footage published on YouTube shows a European Honey Buzzard and a Roller being shot down in the area on Wednesday and Thursday. Rollers are a species of international conservation concern facing rapid population declines across much of its European range. The video can be watched here: https://youtu.be/wPAuL0YpPjI

“Our teams deployed in the Birzebbugia area observe and report severe wildlife crimes on a daily basis yet the police needed more than an hour to arrive after our team reported the Roller being killed yesterday”, CABS spokesperson Karl Heinz Kreutzer said adding that this delay gives plenty of ample time for the poachers to hide their illegal prey and escape with impunity.

Apart from these two recent incidents, CABS teams have observed more than a dozen other protected birds being shot down in Has Saptan valley since last Sunday (20 Sept). “As our eyes and video cameras can only monitor a very small part of this valley, we assume that hundreds more protected birds have been shot there in the last week alone”, CABS spokesperson Karl-Heinz Kreutzer said. CABS which has labelled the valley as “the worst killing grounds for birds of prey in Europe” urges the government to take immediate action by suspending the hunting season in this part of the island and establishing a permanent police presence to monitor the ban.

The NGO said that the primary motivation behind the shooting of protected birds are private collections and illegal taxidermy. “There is a huge black market for stuffed birds with some collectors paying thousands of Euros for rare specimens such as Rollers, Storks or Flamingos. Since examinations and tagging of private trophy collections have dwindled during the past five years, poachers find it easier to shoot and launder illegally acquired specimens”, CABS Wildlife Crime Officer Fiona Burrows said. She also stated that since responsibility for administration of wild birds’ regulations was handed over to Wild Birds Regulation Unit (WBRU) controls and tagging of private collections were stopped. “The history of the WBRU is a history of massive failures and biased decisions which only serve the interests of the poachers at the cost the lives of thousands of rare protected birds. It is high time that the government hands over the responsibility for the protection of wild birds to a technically competent regulatory institution”, Burrows concluded.


Contact for more information: CABS Press Officer Axel Hirschfeld, +49 1794803805 or Email to CABS@komitee.de, The picture attached to this PR shows a European Honey Buzzard photographed on Malta by Chris Cachia Zammit