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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Wild birds as live decoys

Song thrush as a live decoy in Italy
Song thrush as a live decoy in Italy

In some countries - especially in the Mediterranean region - it is allowed to use live decoys for hunting. The birds are crammed into small cages and placed on hunting or trapping sites.

In many cases, live decoys - especially songbirds - are kept in the dark throughout summer. When they are brought to daylight in autumn for the hunting season, their hormonal balance changes to spring levels and the birds begin to sing. They lure conspecifics down where hunters and trappers are patiently waiting to take them.

The conditions in which decoy birds are kept are often miserable; in tiny cages without appropriate food and veterinary care. The birds generally don't survive long, thus, hundreds of thousands of hunters - especially in France, Spain, Italy and Malta - need constant supply. Up until recently, most countries granted derogations to allow trapping of decoy birds with nets. CABS' actions against this cruel practice and complaints to the European Union have led to a ban on bird-trapping almost everywhere today. In theory, hunters are supposed to meet their demand for decoys through captive breeders. 

Unfortunately, many of the alleged "breeders" loot chicks from nests in the wild and sell them as "legitimate" offspring. Others catch birds illegally and provide them with manipulated false rings and forged papers.

We actively search for nets and various types of traps during our bird protection camps and operations against nest robbers. In addition, we support the authorities in their work against ring forgers, who use increasingly sophisticated tricks to trade wild birds as captive bred offspring.