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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Illegal wild bird trade

Boiled in thrushes as a delicacy in Cyprus
Boiled in thrushes as a delicacy in Cyprus

The illegal trade of wild birds is a global business in which criminal trappers, smugglers, traders and taxidermists earn hundreds of millions of euros every year. Wild birds, whether dead or alive, are among the most internationally traded animals or animal products. 

Large-scale trapping and black market trade is one of the main drivers causing the decline of numerous species such as Ortolans, Saker Falcons and various parrots such as the Spix's Macaw, which has since died out in the wild. In addition to illegal imports of wild exotic species, trade in native species is also a widespread phenomenon throughout Europe. Virtually all species groups from wrens to eagles are affected. Losses during capture and transport via intermediaries to the "end consumer" are often catastrophic. For every wild bird that is sold alive, there are up to five individuals - depending on the species and country of origin - that have died along the way. CABS are working Europe-wide against the marketing of birds captured in the wild. In addition to our successful campaign against the import of wild parrots for the zoo trade, we conduct operations in numerous European countries against the illegal capture and sale of wild birds. In addition, our employees monitor suspicious pet shops, fairs and conduct regular research on relevant online websites.

Import of wild birds from overseas

Parrots, which have more globally threatened species than any other bird family, are particularly affected by the worldwide illegal trade in wild birds. This is about big money!

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Trade in birds of prey and owls

Under the guise of captive breeding, corrupt falconers turn hawks, falcons or eagles illegally taken from nature into fast money. 

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European wild birds in cage and aviary 

Songbirds such as goldfinches and other species are popular ornamental birds in many countries and are sold openly at local markets, pet shops or online. 

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Online taxidermy trade

CABS carries out covert missions and research to unveil trade of protected species among hunters and taxidermists.

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Songbirds for the cooking pot

Officially, the sale of wild caught songbirds is prohibited throughout the EU. Criminal trapping gangs sell to butchers and restaurants. 

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Live decoys for hunting

In countries where hunting is permitted using live decoys, there is a lively trade in thrushes, pigeons, ducks and other waterfowl. 

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