Malta – 17. 11. 2022
Poaching under the cover of pseudo-science: CABS report 30 bird trappers to the police
45 nets, 368 live birds confiscated in four weeks
The Committee Against Bird Slaughter (CABS) has labelled the government´s finch ‘research project’ “a big lie designed to help poachers to fill their aviaries with thousands of protected birds”. The eNGO said that since the trapping season opened on 20 October its teams have documented and reported numerous cases of illegal bird trapping to the authorities. Officers from the Environmental Protection Unit (EPU) and the Gozo Police caught 30 poachers red-handed and seized trapping equipment worth thousands of Euros. 45 large clap-nets and 368 caught live birds were confiscated. The charges against the poachers include trapping of protected species, using more than one clap-net, trapping on unregistered sites, possession of unringed live decoys and the use of illegal electronic bird callers. The confiscated birds - mainly finches and some thrushes – were examined by a vet and later released.
While CABS praised the police for their rapid response it once again called on the government to ditch the heavily criticised finch research project. “Our data and observations clearly show that the large majority of trappers simply don´t care about science and abuse the system to pocket as many wild birds as possible”, Axel Hirschfeld said. CABS stressed that its teams only checked a small fraction of the of the 3,984 “live capturing stations” permitted by the government. “It is therefore safe to assume a considerably high number of unidentified cases which involve hundreds of poachers and thousands of illegally trapped birds”, CABS Wildlife Crime Officer Fiona Burrows stated. “To bring more light into the dark figure and acquit itself of the suspicion of actively “protecting” the poachers the government should publish data about the number of persons charged by the police without our help”, Burrows proposed.
CABS said that its team will continue its monitoring operations on Malta and Gozo until the end of January. Their main focus in the next weeks will be to document the controversial trapping season for Golden Plovers and monitor the hunting ban in protected zones such as parts of the Mizieb woodland and Qawra Point - which has been declared a nature reserve in September.
Contact for more information: CABS Press Officer Axel Hirschfeld, +49 179 4803805 or Email to CABS@komitee.de