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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Europa – 05. 12. 2023

CABS bust international bird smuggling ring in Poland.

Mastermind arrested in Poland - Police confiscate 456 freshly caught songbirds - Huge trapping facility shut down - Investigations now also ongoing in Italy.

Bonn/Gdansk. Information provided to the Polish police by the Committee Against Bird Slaughter (CABS) has led to the unravelling of an international bird trafficking network. During a large-scale operation on a property near Gdansk, police officers and public prosecutors discovered numerous cages in which a total of 456 freshly caught song thrushes, redwing and fieldfare were being kept. The birds and extensive trapping equipment were seized. A huge stock of captive breeding rings was also seized. Criminal proceedings were initiated against the owner of the property - a 54-year-old Italian. He is facing a prison sentence.

According to CABS, the man arrested in Poland is the head of a group of smugglers who are believed to have trafficked thousands of live songbirds from Eastern Europe to Italy in recent years. Between 16000 and 20000 birds may have passed through the fake 'captive' breeding facility. There, the wild birds were subsequently sold as allegedly ‘captive-bred’ offspring for up to 200 euros each. The buyers were mainly hunters who used the birds as live decoys for thrush hunting. So that the wild-caught birds could be officially marketed, they were declared as captive-bred and fitted with fake breeding rings.

In order to put a stop to the smugglers, CABS staff spent two years carrying out research and surveillance in Poland and Italy. Among other things, they succeeded in filming the main suspect and an accomplice in the act of trapping birds. The men had set up a huge trapping facility containing 33 nets with a total length of several hundred metres. The trapping equipment has since been dismantled and seized by the authorities as evidence. The video footage, together with extensive intelligence reports, was handed over to the Polish public prosecutor's office, which immediately ordered a search of the property north-west of Gdansk. "We would like to thank the Polish authorities for their swift reaction and rigorous crackdown," said CABS CEO Alexander Heyd, who is also in contact with the police in Italy about the case. "We assume that other members of the network are now also being investigated there," Heyd continued.

Updates and further information on this case can be found at www.komitee.de

Contact for photos of the raid in Poland and further information:

Dipl-Biol. Axel Hirschfeld (press spokesman), An der Ziegelei 8, D-53127 Bonn, phone +49 228 665521 or email komitee@komitee.de