This is part of the series of posts Poaching in Cyprus FAQ
What do the Cypriot trappers say?
When it comes to Cypriot bird trapping, the Cypriots manage to come up with some pretty inept defenses of criminal activity. Absolutely none of the attempts to justify trapping that I’ve come across make any sense to anyone but the hunters and trappers. Justifications such as (paraphrasing the top five as best I can):
- “The birds taste good, so there’s no point in trying to save them.”
[Variation: “The birds want to be eaten, you can tell by their behavior”; or “God made the birds to be eaten.” This justification is absolutely ridiculous, but that doesn’t stop them from saying it.]
- “Foreigners have problems in their own countries, let them deal with their problems and leave Cyprus alone.”
[This isn’t actually a justification, it’s an undisguised plea to be allowed to continue crime.]
- “Cypriots need the poached birds for food or for income.”
[This is a lie. Thanks to tourism the Cypriot standard of life has increased dramatically. And the poachers drive brand-new top-of-the-line pickup trucks in the fields, demonstrating that they are not paupers.]
- “Foreigners are biased for criticizing Cypriot practices and ignoring English fox hunting, [etc.].”
[This is usually a lie, depending on the specific variation employed. And it is irrelevant – Cypriot authorities are responsible for crimes in Cyprus, not in other countries.]
- “Foreigners are biased for allowing poultry farming but condemning ambelopoulia trapping.”
[Poultry are not wildlife, and hence the criticisms being made against ambelopoulia do not apply to poultry, and vice versa.]
- “There are human rights violations in the Turkish-occupied areas, and you should be more concerned about human life than birds.”
[Misdirection: the violations of others’ does not absolve people here from the duty to following their laws. ]
The claim that outsiders are biased for one reason or another is particularly common. And the trappers seem particularly proud of such arguments. What these justifications intentionally ignore however is the fact that trapping and ambelopoulia are illegal. And by trying to make excuses for illegal activities, even the best of excuses, they are by definition defending criminals.