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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Zypern – 23. 05. 2022

PR: CABS call for immediate removal of deadly ground nets and for a zero tolerance approach towards their use in Cyprus.

In Cyprus, farmers and landowners use ground nets as a method to keep snakes away from their property: They lay out fishing nets on the ground along the property boundaries or attach them to fences and walls. 

These nets are brutal death traps for snakes and other wildlife. Snakes have almost no chance to cross them without becoming entangled and subsequently die a slow and painful death.

Snakes are not the only victims of these cruel nets. Other reptiles, such as the Hardun - a large agama species - die in large numbers too. Hedgehogs are also affected, which easily get entangled with their spines, as well as many ground dwelling birds. 

Each spring, CABS activists stumble upon dozens of ground nets in south-eastern Cyprus. Between May and June 2021, CABS activists inspected ground nets across 25 locations and found 74 wild animals caught in them. Most common victim of the inspected nets were Starred agamas and Black whip snakeBoth species are among rare and threatened animal species in EU and are strictly protected by both European and national legislation in Cyprus. 

Bostjan Debersek, CABS Field Investigation Officer stated: “As the ground nets are laid out with a sole purpose of killing snakes and many other strictly protected species, they should be completely banned. Not only killing, but also harassment of animals is prohibited by law and these nets are clearly obstructing the movement of protected wildlife.”

Last June, CABS reported 12 locations where dead protected wildlife were found caught in ground nets to the Department of Environment of Ministry of Agriculture. We have urged the authorities to take immediate actions and remove the reported nets before more animals get caught and die.

“When we checked the reported locations again this spring, we were shocked to find out that all nets are still laid out at all 12 reported locations. The Department of Environment clearly didn’t take any action and as a result a total of 20 freshly killed snakes and other wildlife, such as starred agamas, hedgehogs and birds were discovered in these nets” said Mr. Debersek. 

CABS call on authorities to stop turning a blind eye on the use of deadly ground nets and implement EU and national legislation and start taking resolute actions against their use in Cyprus.

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Attached images:

1, Hedgehog found dead in a ground net in spring 2022. 

For more information contact: CABS Investigations Officer Andrea Rutigliano, +39 346 9484460 or Email CABS Press Office via CABS@komitee.de