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CABS autumn bird protection camp

Operation Safe Passage starts on 10 September

Valetta / Bonn. The Committee Against Bird Slaughter (CABS) today announced that they will once again mount operations to monitor illegal hunting and trapping on Malta and Gozo next month. According to their spokesperson Axel Hirschfeld, 24 CABS Bird Guards will be active on the archipelago from 10 September onwards to record illegal shooting and trapping of protected bird species and to identify and report poachers to the Maltese Police.

Bird Guards near Buskett Gardens/MaltaBird Guards near Buskett Gardens/MaltaOperation Safe Passage, involving bird conservationists from Bulgaria, Germany, Italy, Sweden and the United Kingdom, is the seventh successive operation of its kind since 2007. As in previous years CABS will work closely together with the A.L.E. and local NGOs.

The focus of operations will be the monitoring of important bird migration corridors and roosts using digital cameras and high performance spotting scopes. In addition the teams will check that the afternoon hunting ban imposed by the Maltese Government from 15 to 30 September is complied with. Teams in tourist clothing will also locate and report illegal trapping installations for wader and song bird species. Hirschfeld states: “All offences will be rigorously documented and the material turned over to the police for use as evidence in prosecutions”.

In response to the cowardly attacks on CABS personnel and vehicles in April and May of this year, the organisation has hired professional security guards for its autumn operations. “We will also equip all our patrol vehicles with video cameras in order to readily identify any persons responsible for criminal vandalism. We hope that this will deter potential attackers and thereby prevent an escalation of violence” comments CABS’ president Heinz Schwarze.

The conservationist emphasised that CABS is only concerned with curbing illegal bird shooting and trapping. "Claims that CABS aims for a total ban on hunting on Malta are absolutely false and only add fuel to the fire" Schwarze states. The CABS teams, as always, welcome contact with all members of the public, above all law-abiding hunters, to talk about their work and discuss bird conservation throughout Europe as a whole.

CABS is an international charitable organisation based in Bonn, Germany. The focus of its work is bird protection and conservation in Europe. In addition to its bird protection camps on Malta it organises and supports similar operations in the Gulf of Naples, Sardinia and Lombardy in Italy, as well as in Bulgaria, France, Spain and on Cyprus.