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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Frozen warblers

Frozen blackcaps in a Lebanese supermarket
Frozen blackcaps in a Lebanese supermarket

Warblers other songbirds are a popular delicacy in Lebanon and are offered for sale on a massive scale in restaurants and supermarkets despite the official ban. Beside the shooting of protected birds, commercial trapping with nets and limesticks is a huge issue for migratory birds in Lebanon. According to estimates by the Committee Against Bird Slaughter (CABS) and the Middle Eastern Sustainable Hunting Centre (MESHC), several million small birds are killed for trade each year.

Plucked and frozen songbirds are offered by virtually every major supermarket in the frozen food section, right next to pizza and fish fingers. In autumn 2018, our team members randomly inspected six supermarkets and counted a total of 83 packs of approximately 40 frozen blackcaps in each - a total of around 3,300 birds. Retailing at around 50 dollars per packet. If one considers that there are hundreds of such supermarkets throughout the country, it can be assumed that several hundred thousand illegally caught songbirds are commercially sold each year through this distribution channel alone. This does not include the vast number of songbirds sold directly to restaurants or markets and butchers. 

Huge bird-trapping sites are known to be active around Baalbek, Qaa, the northern Bekaa plain and coastal areas in the south of the country.