Our work against wild bird poaching
The laws to protect our wild birds from illegal persecution are hardly worth the paper they are printed on if there is no effective enforcement. In most countries, there is either no specialised police unit in environmental crime or the units are small and under resourced, both financially and in terms of personnel. A lack of training in wildlife crime and poor equipment, working hours outside the core hours of the "poaching business" (usually very early in the morning or at night) and a lack of political will mean that poachers and bird trappers are often free to indulge in poaching unperturbed.
The Committee Against Slaughter (CABS) - founded in 1975 - specialises in anti-poaching operations and investigations. For each country in the EU, for each region with a migratory bird poaching problem and for each individual trapping or hunting method, we have experts who know the local traditions and are in regular contact with the relevant authorities. We search for illegal traps and nets, collect evidence and help local authorities in their work against poaching. In this way, hundreds of bird trappers and hunters can be convicted and brought to justice every year.
With targeted public relations work on the subject, on the one hand, we deliver better public awareness of the problem and on the other, fear among the perpetrators. With every convicted poacher a second one will often throw in the towel and with every conviction - no matter how small the punishment - it is a further building block towards the end of a traditional wild bird poaching.
The Committee Against Bird Slaughter (CABS) currently conducts a total of 26 bird protection camps in seven different countries and poaching hotspots each year.
CABS bird protection camps - operational areas
Bird-trapping and bird hunting can be found all over Europe, but along the three routes of our migratory birds there are known hotspots of illegal poaching. Our current 26 bird protection camps take place here:
- Bird protection camps on Malta, 5 operations a year (bird trapping and bird hunting)
- Bird protection camps on Cyprus, 3 long operations per year (bird trapping)
- Bird protection camps in Lebanon, 2 operations per year (bird trapping and bird hunting)
- Italy: Bird protection camps in Brescia, 3 operations per year (bird trapping and bird hunting)
- Italy: Bird protection camp in Bolzano, 1 operation per year (nest robbery)
- Italy: Bird protection camp in Po Delta, 1 operation per year (water bird hunting)
- Italy: Bird protection camp in Sardinia, 1 operation in the year (bird trapping)
- Italy: Bird protection camps in Ponza and Palmarola, 2 operations per year (bird trapping and hunting)
- Italy: Bird protection camp in Ischia, 1 operation in the year (bird trapping)
- Italy: Bird protection camps in Calabria, 2 operations per year (bird trapping and raptor persecution)
- Italy: Bonelli's Eagle Project in Sicily, 1 operation per year (Bonelli's Eagle Protection)
- Bird protection camp in Serbia, 1 operation per year (Illegal quail hunting)
- Bird protection camps in Spain, 2 operations per year (bird trapping)
- Bird protection camp in the south of France, 1 use per year (Ortolan trapping)