In what world could someone state openly that limesticks – a stick or twig coated in resin on which a bird lands and gets increasingly stuck to as it struggles to escape and from which it hangs until it dies or is ripped off and killed – doesn’t cause suffering for more than a few minutes? Where the use of limesticks – banned under EU law since 1979 – could be openly supported? Welcome to Cyprus, an island that glosses over the unpleasant truths about ambelopoulia (an illegal snack made from migrant birds) and the slaughter of huge numbers of bird migrants and sells itself as a haven of culture and art. Welcome to the world of Antonis Kakoullis, the chairman of the Cyprus Hunting Federation (KOK), a man as disconnected from the modern world as his counterpart on Malta, Lino Farrugia, General Secretary of the loathsome FKNK.
Hunting boss openly supports limestick use, BirdLife Cyprus, 27 January 2012
Redstart caught on limestick, Friends of The Earth/2011
Antonis Kakoullis, the chairman of the Cyprus Hunting Federation (KOK), has stated clear support for the use of limesticks, in an interview given to a popular US website.
In a recently published report on the ‘The World’ website, Kakoullis condemns mist net use, but says people should be allowed to use “a few dozen limesticks on their own property”. The KOK chairman also claims limesticks are not cruel: “The bird doesn’t stay on the limestick for hours and suffer-not more than three, four minutes. The trapper is there to catch it immediately.”
Kakoullis also down-plays the extent and impact of trapping in Cyprus. Systematic monitoring by BirdLife Cyprus shows a sharp rise in trapping in recent years and allows us to reliably estimate that hundreds of thousands of birds are killed every year. “When we hear this, we laugh,” Kakoullis tells ‘The World’ reporter Ari Shapiro.
These far-from-positive statements appear at a time when the use of illegal limesticks is on the rise, posing a serious threat to migrating birds, not least because of the non-selective nature of the glue sticks.
While there have been a number of worrying statements in support of limestick use made by KOK representatives in the local press in recent months, such as the above, BirdLife Cyprus was encouraged to also see at least one hunters’ representative speaking out against trapping.
To read the article by Ari Daniel Shapiro or listen to the podcast please click here
BirdLife Cyprus is the Cyprus representative of BirdLife International – a globally active conservation organization that operates in over 100 countries and territories worldwide and is the recognized global authority on birds.
BirdLife Cyprus aims to promote the study and protection of the birds of Cyprus and their habitats, and to enable the citizens of Cyprus and other countries to play their part in achieving this goal
BirdLife Cyprus is working to bring an end to illegal bird trapping. Birds trapped on limesticks and in nets die a horrible death and are then sold for profit to be eaten as an expensive ‘delicacy’. Many birds of threatened species fall foul to the indiscriminate nets and glue sticks. A recent opinion poll showed that the majority of Cypriots are against this illegal activity.”