CABS report “massive abuse of trapping derogation”
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CABS have reported massive abuse of trapping derogation and tells the Junior Minister Clint Camilleri to “close your eyes or close the season.”
The Committee Against Bird Slaughter (CABS) in a statement today, said that illegal bird trapping of protected species “has exploded” since the Government opened the legal season for the capture of Song Thrush and Golden Plover.
CABS Press Officer Axel Hirschfeld said that his organisation had only two teams in the field and as yet no observers have been sent to Gozo.
CABS teams monitoring the countryside on Malta filmed and reported dozens cases of severe abuse to the police over the last three days.
It said that these included trapping of protected Greenfinches, Siskins, Hawfinches, Chaffinches and Ring Ouzels as well as trapping on unregistered sites and the use of illegal bird callers.
Illegal finch trapping was recorded in Qrendi, Zurrieq, Santa Katarina, Fomm ir-Rih, Mtahleb, Ta´ Baldu and close to the temples in Hagar Qim with a total of 10 poachers being investigated by the police and more than 50 protected birds being seized as corpus delicti, stated CABS.
CABS continued by say that a video which was uploaded to its Facebook-page “shows the poachers being caught in the act, some of them panicking when realising that their illegal activity was being recorded.”
The footage also documents how police officers had to break the door of a trapping hide after a poacher locked himself inside in a desperate attempt to hide from the police, said CABS.
CABS added that although it was “expected that some trappers would continue to target protected birds its members were shocked to see how widespread the problem has become since the Government opened the legal season last Saturday.”
CABS Press Officer Axel Hirschfeld explained that “using an intelligence-led approach we are prioritising the cases we are investigating due to the sheer volume of recorded incidents.”
CABS stated that “Animal Rights Parliamentary Secretary Clint Camilleri´s appeal to trappers from last week to follow the rules obviously fell on deaf ears, with illegalities being at an all time high for autumn.”
“Mr Camilleri has two options now. He can continue to close his eyes to the reality or meet his obligations and close the season,” Axel Hirschfeld stated.
Photo by CABS shows protected Hawfinch in an illegal cage trap seized by the police in Santa Katarina, Malta yesterday