Stop taking credit for our work to hide your incompetence! The Committee Against Bird Slaughter (CABS) has accused the Maltese Wild Bird Regulation Unit (WBRU) of falsely taking the credit of CABS efforts to whitewash its total failure to control illegal bird trapping in spring.The eNGO refers to a statement sent yesterday by the WBRU to the members of the European Union Network for the Implementation and Enforcement of Environmental Law (IMPEL), an association of 51 environmental authorities in 36 countries, in which the head of WBRU, Mr. Sergei Golovkin, is reporting about Malta´s alledged “enforcement efforts” to combat illegal finch trapping in spring. In his statement Golovkin writes: “I wish to emphasize that these enforcement operations are being carried out in a constant and routine manner, and contrary to CABS allegations of “tolerance” towards illegalities, enforcement is effective and produces the desired results”. To undermine his remarks the head of the WBRU explains that two trappers have been apprehended and “17 active illegal trapping sites were located and dismantled, 12 live protected birds used as live decoys seized, and various trapping paraphernalia confiscated” as a “result of police patrols and WBRU´s enforcement action taken over the past two weeks”. The statement was published on the IMPEL network´s homepage: https://www.impel-esix.eu/reply-on-message-23-03-2017-about-mist-nets-on-malta/
In a reply from today CABS said that the seizures and apprehensions listed by the WBRU to impress their European collegues are 100% the results of CABS reports to the police. This refers to the number of illegal sites located and dismantled as well as to the seizure of 12 live protected birds. “All examples listed in the WBRU´s statement to demonstrate its “effectiveness” are in fact cases which have been documented and reported by CABS. If you remove the cases reported by our teams from the list the government stands there empty-handed”, CABS Press Officer Axel Hirschfeld said. CABS also stressed that the number of 17 seizures or prosecutions, regardless of who reported them, is a minuscule number compared to cases reported by CABS to the police in the last 3 weeks. “We have mapped a total of 133 illegal active sites on a single morning, 54 of which have already been reported to the authorities with map locations/ photos of the nets installed by the poachers. The other 79 sites are being monitored by CABS teams to produce video evidence for the police to ensure prosecutions”, CABS Wildlife Crime Officer Fiona Burrows said. She added that CABS reports have led to the confiscation of at least 21 live decoys while the WBRU in its statement referred to only 12 birds seized.
By listing these data the WBRU has given proof that it has either no clue what is going on in the countryside or that it is deliberately downsizing the problem. It´s bad enough that the government does nothing against illegal trapping but it just takes the biscuit that they deceive the EU and IMPEL into believing that there is no problem”, Axel Hirschfeld said adding that the only ones benefitting from such actions are the poachers.
Our picture shows a leashed Linnet decoy found on an illegal trapping site on Gozo last week.
Please read through all 3 links:
Maltese bird trappers should look for another hobby: CABS has praised the European Commission for its efforts to take Malta to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) over its controversial decision to allow finch trapping. In a press release the NGO accused the Maltese government of painting a false picture by describing the trapping season as “well controlled”. “According to our observations the opposite is the case with massive illegal trapping and a total lack of enforcement in spring, hundreds of trapping stations built in protected areas and rampant illegal trade and smuggling of many thousand of birds each year. Above all, allowing finch trapping is a clear breach of the European Bird´s Directive and Malta´s accession treaty to the European Union. Instead of wasting Maltese taxpayers money to defend the indefensible Mr. Galdes should have the guts to honestly tell the trappers that their cause is lost and that they should look for another hobby”, CABS president Heinz Schwarze said.
The ECJ has opened the case against Malta over illegal finch trapping today (15 February 2017) . A decision is expected to be announced later this year. A newspaper report can be found here: http://www.maltatoday.com.mt/news/national/74458/cabs_galdes_should_tell_trappers_to_look_for_another_hobby#.WKRK__nhC70
I copied this article as is from the committee against bird slaughter. In Malta bird trapping is underway with a vengeance: >8,000 nets line the coastal terraces and fields ready to catch linnets, goldfinches, siskins, greenfinch, serins and hawfinch. The whole landscape is plastered with small cages in which poor captive finches lure their wild cousins into trappers nets with their desperate calls. The whole thing is completely legal – authorised by the Maltese government, the threat of sanctions from the EU have had no effect. There are also hunters who deploy illegal electronic decoys of song thrushes and shoot them down en masse. The CABS teams currently operating on the islands have their hands full with lobbying and scrutinising this bureaucracy … which requires steady nerves, because almost everything that is currently happening is allowed
Gathering evidence. A though job to do as they can’t do nothing to save the birds 😦
Lure for others…Doubtfull that this one will survive..
Target practice.Pure target practice.Any native tribe would kill a member who kills for fun because they would consider them sick in the head.So why donwe accept this in our societies? Are we psychologically this far down?
Via CABS Malta: Our spring bird protection camp across Malta and Gozo has come to an end. Over the past two weeks, 28 participants from several European countries have come together to safeguard major roost sites and monitor the migration over the Maltese archipelago. Following the spring hunting referendum, which was tipped in favour, stricter enforcement has ensued and we have worked closely with the authorities and Maltese NGOs to record any illegalities taking place. The accumulation of offences resulted the season being closed 3 days early. Other than a handful of shots in the past few days, the birds have been able to pass to their breeding grounds mostly undisturbed.
Malta: Police arrest poacher in Ghaxaq – A team of the Committee Against Bird Slaughter (CABS) filmed a poacher while he was shooting at birds during the closed season close to Ghaxaq. The video footage was passed on to the Administrative Law Enforcement who identified the man within hours. The man admitted to having fired the shots and was taken to the ALE headquarters for further interrogation. CABS said that its teams recorded a total of 137 shots fired after the Prime Minister closed the hunting season last Tuesday. Most of the shots were heard in the countryside around Safi, Hal-Far, Handaq, Marsaskala and Ghaxaq.
The picture attached to this PR shows police officers during an inspection of a hunter´s shotgun on Gozo last week (Photo by Craig Redmond/CABS)
Makes 5 (!) birds which are known off who were illegally shot.If Prime minister Muscat is true to his word, he should shut down the season immediately -unless hes nothing more than a hot air talker.
These hunters are seriously bollocking everybody else!
Via committe against Bird Slaughter
Malta: This morning one of our teams witnessed how a hunter tried to shoot down a protected Kestrel close to the runway of the Malta International Airport in Safi. The hunter fired two shots at the falcon within less than 100 metres from the airport area. Despite an intensive police search the hunter could not be found. In a separate incident this afternoon at 1:45pm another CABS team filmed a hunter firing 4 shots in the Mizieb woodland during the afternoon curfew. The video footage which clearly shows the hunter´s face was passed on to the police who are investigating the case. The same group also found a freshly deceased Cuckoo with typical shotgun injuries hidden in a bush in the same area. The bird was passed on to the ALE. The bird was the third shot Cuckoo found in the vicinity Mizieb since the start of the spring hunting season.
If you have a few days off in between the 17 of April and the 3 of May where you like to do something very useful for nature please contact the CABS team.
Read more below:
Referendum lost. But Maltese PM says that this years spring hunting season will be “last chance” for hunters if killing of protected birds continues. Cabs will be on Malta to keep an eye on the birds and their roosts as well as to report illegalities to the police. From 17 April to 3 May 24 international volunteers will monitor the situation in the field with video cameras, spotting scopes and night vision equipment. Local birdwatchers and environmentalists are invited to help and reinforce our teams. If you can afford a couple of days to help the birds please contact us: Cabsfirstname.lastname@example.org.
Here are Malta’s rules for Spring Hunting:
•Limit set at 11,000 turtle doves and 5,000 quail
•Spring quota is worked out based on number of hunting kills made in the autumn season
•Spring hunters are not allowed to kill more than two birds a day – turtle dove and quail – and are limited to four birds per hunter in the whole season
•Licensed hunters must apply for a special spring hunting licence
•10,000 hunters are legally required to declare every time they go hunting or when they make a kill, before leaving the hunting area
•Hunting fines are €5,000 for first offence, a yea8r in prison and licence revoked.
•Secondary offences are €10,000 and two years in jail