Trade in live birds of prey and owls
In contrast to the songbird trade, the prices for live birds of prey often lie in the four-figure sums. Buyers are usually falconers, zoos and wealthy collectors who display the eagles, falcons and other birds of prey for a fee. Although there are many honest breeders there is also a dark side to this industry, with smugglers and traders who under the guise of 'captive' breeding, want to turn hawks, falcons or eagles illegally taken from nature into fast money.
In recent years, CABS investigations have led to criminal charges and multiple seizures of illegally caught and traded raptors. Including several goshawk chicks taken from nests in Italy; and several other recent cases in Germany involving the illegal possession of of young hawks and peregrine falcons, illegally take and intended for sale on the black market.
Investigations by customs or the criminal investigation department have also shown that trade in live birds of prey is increasingly being conducted internationally. For example, the district court of Zweibrücken found that a pet shop in Pirmasens had served for several years as a supply factory for vultures, eagles, kites and falcons stolen from nature from all over Europe. The fraud was also made possible because the responsible control authority failed all along the line and issued unchecked breeding confirmations or marketing permits for more than 150 of the rare birds.