Malta – 05. 11. 2021
CABS reports lead to confiscation of 211 finches and 60 clap-net traps – Two poachers convicted for illegal trapping during the closed season
Valletta (Malta). Yesterday the law court in Valletta delivered the sentences against two men who have been filmed by CABS illegally trapping finches close to Tal-Merlha at the westcoast of Malta in spring 2019. Both men admitted to the charges and were fined 1.500 Euros each. The court also ordered the revocation of their trapping licences for two years. After the court session CABS staff were handed out summons to testify in a total of 18 additional court cases against poachers who have been caught between 2018 and 2020. The cases are scheduled to be heard by Magistrate Elaine Mercieca in January 2022. „We are pleased that finally these men will be held accountable for their irresponsible behaviour and will receive justice“, CABS Wildife Crime Officer Fiona Burrows said adding that she expects at least 32 additional trappers to be taken to court for offences documented by CABS in 2020 and spring 2021.
Meanwhile, in the last 8 days CABS field operations have led to the arrest of another six poachers and to the confiscation of 33 large unregistered clap-nets as well as 131 live finches – all of which were found on unregistered trapping sites. The NGO said that since mid-September it has reported a total of 60 cases of illegal trapping to the police who were able to identify at least 25 offenders and seize a total of 211 live bird including Hawfinches, Linnets, Chaffinches, Greenfinches, Goldfinches, Larks and Serins. Nets and bird callers worth several thousand Euros were dismantled.
CABS praised the EPU for the good cooperation and fast response to their reports. However, it fears that frequent reshuffles and transfers within the police may hamper the effeciency of the EPU in proportionally tackling these widespread cases of wildlife crime. „We understand that the outstanding track records of some particular EPU officers are a thorn in the flesh of the poaching community who use their political sway to prevent them from fullfilling their duties“, CABS Press Officer Axel Hirschfeld stated. "This is totally unacceptable and yet more evidence that this government is determined to appease poachers at all costs to ensure their votes in the upcoming election".
Contact for more information: CABS Press Officer Axel Hirschfeld, +49 179 4803805 or Email to CABS@komitee.de