Who we are, what we do...
The Committee Against Bird Slaughter (CABS) is a charitable Non-Governmental Organisation working to protect migratory birds from illegal poaching and over exploitation. We are an activist association with a lean administration based from our Head office in Bonn, Germany. We have no subdivisions and are a built on a coalition of supporter members who enable our work and volunteers who can react quickly, often in arduous circumstances. When we identify an issue, we don't set up working groups or commissions, we don't hold conferences - we simply take direct action! It is this approach which we have taken since CABS formation in 1975 and we have achieved a great deal.
Our aim is to put an end to wild bird hunting - with shotguns as well as trapping with various traps or nets. We intervene where trappers, hunters or traders violate nature conservation laws. All our actions are carried out in close cooperation with environmental authorities, the police, regulatory agencies and/or customs offices. Most government agencies lack staff and specialist knowledge to effectively enforce nature conservation laws against criminal bird poachers and traders. With decades of experience fighting conservation crimes, in more than 15 countries, our staff and experts help authorities with current actions and report hundreds of new cases each year.
Where the support of authorities is lacking, we take action ourselves. Each year, in Cyprus and Italy, we collect thousands of items of illegal hunting paraphernalia, free hundreds of protected birds and document our findings for press campaigns to pressure local authorities to take action. Documenting the mass cruelty to animals and the damage caused by illegal hunting on the environment is a central part of our work.
The current nature protection laws should be underlined by a strict rejection of any illegal actions. We try to improve the legal basis for bird protection through campaigns and initiatives at parliamentary level. Appealling to regional courts and the European Commission to review hunting laws based on solid casework and complaints is as important as being pro-active in the field.
Cruelty to animals and conservation problems go hand in hand when it comes to hunting and trapping. Often, very rare species are targeted, almost always causing great suffering to the individuals concerned. CABS therefore sees itself both as a nature conservation association and as an advocate for the voiceless animals.
Hunting and trapping are not the only threats migratory bird face. Intensive agriculture, habitat degradation, climate change and environmental poisoning are also significant threats. However, as specialists in anti-poaching, we focus on our small field of activity, in which we are unique in Europe and perhaps the world.
In all areas, we work together with local partner organisations. Anyone who fights against "old traditions" must be aware of the respective local sensitivities. Where we do not have our own staff, we support the activities of our partner associations financially and make our many years of experience available. We have built up a network of poaching experts throughout the Mediterranean region, through which we carefully coordinate our actions and missions.
CABS sees itself as a European nature conservation federation. As our country of origin, the majority of our donors are from Germany (although we are keen to be seen as an international group), the majority of the active members come from Italy and Great Britain; we work primarily in the Mediterranean region and our central contact for all questions of bird protection is the European Commission, as guardian of the EU Birds Directive.
Finally, it is important to say that we firmly reject national or racist resentments towards the states and people of the Mediterranean region.