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Welcome to the Committee Against Bird Slaughter (CABS)

CABS Camp Diary Autumn 2018 now online!

From mid-August to December 2018, CABS Bird Protection Camps will be held in Italy, France, Spain, Serbia, Malta, Cyprus and Lebanon. A total of 13 actions is attended by around 150 volunteers from all over Europe. We regularly report on the missions that we carry out together with our partner associations and in consultation with the relevant authorities.

You can find our diary with recent informations here »»

Italy: Robins for the pot
Police seize more than 1000 plucked birds (19.10.2018)

The Italian forest police (Carabinieri) have unveiled a bird trapper in possession of over 1,000 (mostly) robins in Brescia, Northern Italy. CABS members initiated the case after finding and reporting a site with illegal nets. Police caught the trapper red-handed and a search warrant was subsequently conducted at the trappers’ home address, where the grisly discovery was made. These protected birds are coveted delicacies and were intended for sale in restaurants, where they are served behind closed doors to personally known guests. In Italy, the trapping and selling of songbirds has been banned for a long time now, with the black-market restaurants facing especially high penalties. But because the birds are not on any menu, restaurant owners are rarely caught. This conviction marks poacher no.30 of the current CABS Bird Protection Camp in Brescia.

New Video: The sad fate of Swallows in Lebanon (03.10.2018)

The sad fate of swallows in Lebanon: Each autumn, swallows from across Europe head south to winter in sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East and the Indian sub-continent. Migration is extremely hazardous, many die from starvation and exhaustion. Unfortunately, in Lebanon, shooting migratory swallows, swifts and bee-eaters is commonplace, with millions being killed each year. Everywhere we see people luring birds with electronic callers and emptying the skies for ‘fun’. Together with our partners from the Society for the Protection of Nature in Lebanon and the Middle Eastern Sustainable Hunting Centre (MESHC) our video shows the terrible extent of this massacre, as Geraldine Attard our CABS member from France reflects on the situation.

See the new CABS & SPNL video here »»

Brescia Bird Protection Camp starts (29.09.2018)

Today we start our main Bird Protection Camp in Brescia (Northern Italy). With around 45 participants, the four-week mission in the mountains between Lake Garda and Lake Iseo is the largest CABS operation this year. Our focus is working against the illegal catching of songbirds with traps and nets, as well as combating illegal shooting of migratory birds. Hundreds of thousands of protected species - especially robins - are still being caught and shot in the Italian Alpine province.

Read more about the camp in Brescia here »»

Malta: Birdwatchers report more hunting abuses
Efforts made are a delicate flower (28.09.2018)

Over the last three weeks teams of the Committee Against Bird Slaughter (CABS) deployed in Malta and Gozo have observed or filmed a total of 15 incidents of illegal hunting of protected bird species. According to CABS the cases include 4 ´successful´ killings and 11 birds which were either observed being shot at or seen flying with obvious gunshot wounds. Among the birds affected are 7 Honey Buzzard, 5 Marsh Harrier, 1 Kestrel and 1 Grey Heron. Most of the incidents reported by CABS were observed in the Girgenti and Dingli area. Another poaching hotspot is Wied Qoton near Safi, an area especially known for the shooting of birds of prey and the widespread use of illegal bird calling machines for Quail and protected waders.

Read our recent press relaese here »»

Blow against birdtapping in Baalbek/Lebanon (21.09.2018)

Joint operation against songbird trapping in North Bekaa, Lebanon. On Wednesday, a CABS team together with members of MESHC and SPNL conducted field investigations around the city of Baalbek, Northern Lebanon. The action was in response to recent intelligence received regarding industrial-scale trapping in the area to target and kill songbirds for illegal sale on the black market. Together with the Lebanese Internal Security Forces 17 mist nets with a total length of more than 300 metres were confiscated. Several Masked Shrikes and a Levant Sparrowhawk trapped in the nets were released unharmed. The operation was the first of its kind in the area close to the Syrian border.

See our recent video about this case here »»

Cyprus: Bird Protection Camp has started (01.09.2018)

This year’s autumn camp has started on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus - at 10 weeks, it is the longest campaign of the year. In just the first few days, the CABS team in the southeast of the island and in the British military areas were able to collect more than 160 limesticks, two nets and two poachers were arrested by police and wardens from the Game Fund. As cooperation with the British police continues to improve, support from the Cypriot police is becoming increasingly complicated. Although the scale of bird trapping continues at large, it seems fewer and fewer civil servants are available. At the same time, the government in Nicosia is showing ever decreasing political will to act against poachers.

As always, read in our online diary what happens during the stakes.

Malta: Last stork presumed dead
5.000 Euros reward for information regarding stork killers (29.8.2018)

The last survivor of a flock of 18 White Storks on Malta is now presumed dead. The bird arrived two weeks ago together with 17 others, but soon after arriving poachers began shooting at the flock, killing all adult birds which were leading the flock on their way south. Without the lead of experienced adults the remaining juveniles were disorientated and appear to have been taken out one by one. CABS are offering a €5000 reward for any information leading to the arrest and convictions of any of the stork killers. (Picture: © Alice Tribe, Birdlife Malta)

Read our press release here»»

A good day for birds -
End of birdtrapping in Malta is coming soon! (21.6.2018)

After a 4-year long infringement procedure the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled that the Maltese trapping season for finches is a clear breach of the EU´s Bird´s Directive. “We are glad that the institutions of the EU finally showed their teeth and confirmed that the Maltese government´s plan to legalise finch trapping was in fact illegal”, CABS president Heinz Schwarze said. “We urge Prime Minister Joseph Muscat to accept the ruling and to prepare the trapper´s community for a future without trapping”. The ruling has also direct consequences for the planning of our autumn operations. We are currently mobilising all available resources to ensure that we have a maximum number of teams in the field during peak finch migration in October and November.

You can read the verdict here »»

Lebanon: CABS & SPNL documents swallow-massacre and frozen songbirds in a supermarket (28.3.2018)

During the current Lebanon operation our CABS & SPNL team documented a shocking Swallow massacre on 27.3.2018 south of Beirut. Among the perpetrators were several children and adolescents, who fled as the police arrived, one ‘hunter’ was arrested and his weapon was seized.
Three days earlier, CABS staff found hundreds of frozen blackcaps in a supermarket. The species is also strictly protected in Lebanon. We have released video footage of both incidents.

You can find the latest Youtube videos from Lebanon here »»