Trade in live songbirds
Songbirds such as goldfinches and other species are popular ornamental birds in many countries and are sold openly in many places such as local markets, pet shops or online. To cover up the origin of illegally caught wild birds, they are often declared as captive-bred offspring. The main focus of trade in live songbirds is the Mediterranean region, where CABS has been active for years in the strongholds of bird-trappers and traders.
In identifying incidents of illegal sale, our staff frequently research animal markets and bird markets, visit suspicious pet shops and check relevant websites online. In recent years, the evidence and information we have collected has led to the conviction of more than 100 bird traders in Italy, Malta and Germany alone; as well as the confiscation of >5,000 live songbirds. The fact that the capture and trade of wild birds is not exclusively a South European problem is illustrated by the example of Germany, where CABS members have also been monitoring the trade in native "forest birds" and illegally taken birds of prey such as goshawks and buzzards for more than 40 years. The companies offers and trade smuggled in birds from Southern and Eastern Europe as well as birds caught directly in Germany with nets or live traps. In recent years, criminal charges initiated by CABS have enabled the prosecution of dozens of traders, falconers and songbird trappers.