Zypern – 29. 03. 2022
CABS Cyprus autumn report - steady increase in trapping confirmed
140 active trapping sites detected in Famagusta, Larnaka and the ESBA.
Committee Against Bird Slaughter (CABS)
+++ PRESS RELEASE - 29 March 2022 +++
CABS new report on trapping in the 2021 autumn season published. 140 active trapping sites detected in Famagusta, Larnaka and the ESBA.
139 nets and 2,473 limesticks found. 49 prosecutions for trapping and 16 for illegal hunting secured thanks to CABS work. Steady increase in criminal activities confirmed.
Larnaca, Cyprus. The Committee Against Bird Slaughter (CABS) has today published our latest report on bird trapping in Cyprus, covering a full breakdown of the enforcement results results achieved in autumn 2021 and the trends of illegal activities in recent years.
The eNGO once more rings the alarm bells: all indicators show that illegal trapping is once again on the rise, not only the use of limesticks, which benefits from relaxed legislation, but also mist-netting has achieved higher volumes of activity. "This is certainly the result of poor and limited enforcement action - says Alexander Heyd, CABS CEO. There have been two bad strikes in the recent history of nature conservation in Cyprus, one is the introduction of lower fines for the limestick trapping and shooting of 14 species of birds, the second is the weakening and final dismantling of the Cyprus police Anti-Poaching Unit - the only statutory body which had a deterrent effect on professional organised bird trapping. 2017 marked a record low in the incidents of illegal trapping. However, since then, it is increasing to new worrying levels.”
CABS has been active in Cyprus for the protection of birds since 2008 and is now the main stakeholder in ensuring enforcement action is being delivered in real terms – with 65% of all prosecutions achieved in the Larnaka and Famagusta districts coming as a direct result of our teams work in the field.
"This role is not a good sign nor is welcomed by us - adds Bostjan Debersek, CABS investigation officer – we constantly have to push the authorities regarding the lack of enforcement and the dangers our volunteers face, but we have never received a single reply, not even when our car was severely damaged by a pyrotechnic device after we exposed the biggest trapper in Cyprus, linked to the criminal underworld and left basically undisturbed for years by the authorities. We wish Cyprus would take care of its own problems with illegalities, but so far we have observed a general laissez faire attitude which damages the reputation of the country and its biodiversity".
According to the report, thanks to CABS 2,371 limesticks and 110 nets have been detected in the Republic and 44 people reported for illegal trapping in cooperation with the Game and Fauna Service and the Cyprus Police. Whereas in the ESBA 102 limesticks and 29 nets were reported and 5 people prosecuted in cooperation with the British Police.
Hunting of protected small birds with the use of electronic decoys is also rampant in Larnaka and Famagusta: 92 cases have been handled by CABS and resulted in the prosecution of 16 hunters, the highest number ever achieved in this area. "Maybe this is why there is an ongoing discussion in Parliament about a bill which aims at preventing CABS from ‘disturbing’ hunters, where disturbing means exposing them when they break the law and ask authorities to sanction these illegal behaviours" - concludes Heyd.
The full report can be read here.