Killing migrant birds is BIG business on Cyprus. Illegal ‘snacks’ called ambelopoulia made from hundreds of thousands of passerines such as Blackcaps and Robins – which have bred in protected areas, gardens, woodlands etc across northern Europe – are sold (increasingly openly) for high profits. You’d think that as a member of the EU, in receipt of EU funds, and part of a so-called civilised continent that Cypriot officials would find ways to halt this illegal slaughter not encourage it. You’d think that – but you’d be wrong…
- http://www.cyprus-mail.com/cyprus/last-ditch-effort-stop-poaching-relaxations/20120706, 06 July 2012:
Last-ditch effort to stop poaching relaxations
CONSERVATIONISTS yesterday made a last-ditch appeal to parliament not to approve controversial amendments to the hunting law that will introduce low spot fines for use and possession of audio devices used to lure birds, instead of taking offenders to court.
Terra Cypria, Friends of the Earth, and BirdLife Cyprus urged parties to “contemplate their responsibilities and reject the out-of-court regulation of offenses regarding the possession and use of bird calling devices.”
Current legislation provides for court fines of up to €17,000 and or up to three years in jail.
In a statement ahead of today’s vote on the amendments, which seem set to be approved, the three groups stressed that relaxing the law gives Cyprus’ European partners the wrong message, more so in the first days of the island assuming rotating EU presidency.
Under the new provisions, possession of an audio device used to lure birds would be punishable with a €350 fine and between one and four warning points – hunting with the use of such devices will be fined €500 and two to four warning points.
Hunters who collect 12 points within three years risk losing their permit for up to two years.
Such devices are also used by bird trappers who kill thousands of songbirds and other migratory species each year with the use of limesticks and mist nets, and then sell them as delicacies known locally as ambelopoulia.
MPs do not consider the amendments a relaxation of the law and believe that in this way, authorities will net more offenders.
The three organisations counter that this does not simplify procedures – they say that enforcement of the two amendments would be more time-consuming and problematic.
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.”