Malta – 09. 11. 2021
Stop the study and get your reserve in order – CABS replies to FKNK. Two massive illegal traps found in FKNK-managed Mizieb – Poacher duo arrested, including notorious relapser
Malta. The Committee Against Bird Slaughter (CABS) has accused Gozo Minister Clint Camilleri and the FKNK of complicity in the illegal trapping of thousands of birds under the cover of the alleged „research project“ which has turned the maltese countryside into one „giant bird trap“, the organisation said. „This ´study´ is a trojan horse which was designed to fool the EU and the maltese public with the sole aim of protecting the selfish and antisocial activity of bird poaching“, CABS Press Officer Axel Hirschfeld said. He added that in the last three weeks CABS teams have reported a total of 51 cases of illegal trapping to the authorities who thereupon confiscated more than 238 finches and trapping equipment worth several thousands of Euros. One man was caught trapping illegally 24 hours after he was convicted for the same offence. „As enforcement is very low this is just the tip of the iceberg. Whatever results will emerge from this ´research project´, they will come at the cost of the lives and the freedom of thousands wild birds“, Hirschfeld continued. With its statement, CABS reacts to allegations of the FKNK who yesterday labelled CABS and Birdlife Malta´s efforts to tackle illegal bird trapping as „arrogant persecution, through espionage, provocation, violation of private property and arbitrary exercise of alleged rights to the serious detriment of trappers taking part in the research”. In the same statement, FKNK also urged the government to „protect trappers“ from CABS. CABS today replied by announcing that in face of the „chaotic situation in the field“ it will increase and extend its monitoring activies to uncover illegal bird trapping until the end of the year. It also revealed that on sunday its observers have found and reported a massive illegal trapping complex surrounded by 7 foot high razor wire fence and guard dogs within the limits of the Mizieb woodland – an area managed by the FKNK. The police were called and arrested a duo of poachers operating two sets of clap nets and a large vertical mist net, which were seized by EPU. The mist net contained a freshly caught robin (Pitiross) which was liberated by EPU officers on site. CABS noted that the police for whatever reason did neither confiscate the live decoys used for the mist net nor did the officers inspect a number of large aviaries which contained dozens of finches and which were found right next to the illegal clap net within the fenced complex.
CABS noted that one of the two poachers is a participant of the governments study-project and tried to lead police officers by the nose by presenting paperwork from WBRU confirming that he is a ´government-approved scientist´. But as his ´licence´ did not cover the site in question it was regarded as irrelevant and the police will press charges against him for trapping birds with an illegal mist which was set up nearby. His trapping-partner was caught operating the unregistered finch trapping site. The police confirmed to CABS that the man is a notorious relapser, and has also been reported by CABS in 2016 and 2018 for which he was taken to court both times. Hirschfeld: „This is just one of dozens of cases which proof that Mizieb ist still a poaching hotspot. We are asking FKNK: How many cases of poaching have been reported by your organisation? How is it possible that in an area frequented by hundreds of FKNK members none of them saw and reported these illegal traps?“ In the face of the massive scale of abuses CABS urges the government to stop the controversial trapping project and increase the minimum fines for illegal bird trapping determined in the law so they can serve as a genuine deterrent. ENDS —
Contact for more information: CABS Press Officer Axel Hirschfeld, +49 179 4803805 or Email to CABS@komitee.de