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CABS teams notch up another success


Police seize nets and live bird decoys on Malta and Gozo

Victoria (Gozo) police seize decoy Dotterel and netsVictoria (Gozo) police seize decoy Dotterel and netsValetta. In the course of their monitoring of large trapping installations on Malta and Gozo participants in the Committee Against Bird Slaughter (CABS) Operation Safe Passage have filmed four cases of illegal trapping since last Saturday. The subsequent police controls resulted in the seizure of several large clap nets as well as 9 live and 2 artificial bird decoys.

On last Saturday morning a CABS team were alerted to a trapper in St. Thomas’ Bay who was attempting to attract protected wader species by means of an artificial decoy. The police called by the team to the incident seized a moiré than 40 m long net and have started proceedings against the offender.

On Monday morning the conservationists discovered an active trapping site near Bahrija, where a trapper was attempting to catch protected Dotterel (Birwina). For this the man used plastic decoys as well as an electronic device playing Dotterel calls. A video recorded the man trapping and a copy was handed over to the A.L.E. as evidence. They subsequently searched the site and seized other items for evidence.

Short-toed Lark in decoy cageShort-toed Lark in decoy cageA real cops and robbers chase took place on Tuesday as police raided the site of a song bird trapper near Zurrieq. A CABS team had filmed the man for hours previously from a hide, and obtained long footage of the man trapping protected larks and pipits. The man saw the approaching police patrol and took to his heels, scrambling over a high stone wall to make his escape. His flight was however in vain as the police were later able to identify him easily from the CABS film. A search of the trapping site discovered 5 live Short-toed Larks (Bilbla) and a Red-throated Pipit (Dizz Ahmar), all of which were seized and later released into the wild. Two of the birds had clearly been caught a very short time before. CABS praise the rapid reaction of the police; criticise however their decision not to confiscate the nets or to search the man’s premises for further protected bird species. According to CABS spokesperson Axel Hirschfeld: “Protected birds have been seized at this same trapping site three times already in the past 12 months. The fact that illegal trapping continues here, despite ongoing investigations, demonstrates just how fanatical these trappers are”.

A further seizure of protected species was made yesterday afternoon near Adira san Raflo (Gozo), where a CABS team filmed a trapper catching waders over a number of hours. Officers from Victoria police station called to the scene caught the trapper still in his hut and seized his nets as well as 3 live Dotterel.

The CABS videos will be available for viewing on Youtube in the course of the day.

In addition to checks of trapping sites CABS teams have also observed and reported numerous cases of illegal hunting and have found several shot birds including a Kestrel (Spanjulett) and a Nightjar (Buqrajq). This morning the conservationists were appalled to witness the killing of three Honey Buzzards (Kuccarda) and a protected wader species being shot at: Details of these latter incidents will be published in the next few days.

Contact for further information and video/photo material: CABS press office Tel.: +356 99554442 or +49 1794803805, Email: CABS@komitee.de