Posted by: Dan | May 7, 2010

Cyprus MP speaks out for raping biodiversity

CYPRUS MAIL – Europe ‘got it wrong’ on bird law:

DISY deputy for Famagusta Soteris Sampson has slammed the law that bans bird trapping with limesticks, and criticised the Cypriot authorities for allowing campaigners to remove illegal bird trapping equipment.

Furthermore, he said, the law was the product of the European Union, but it is unfair since many more cruel activities take place in Europe. “Europe got it wrong as far as the ambelopoulia [songbird] laws in Cyprus are concerned. Many more disturbing and cruel activities are happening than bird trapping in Cyprus and these are fully condoned in Europe. The Cypriots are unfairly treated by this law.”

He thinks this is an animal cruelty issue?? He really doesn’t understand, does he.

The laws against ambelopoulia were written for conservation of biodiversity, which has little to do with animal cruelty. The real issue, which Sampson appears ignorant of, is that well over 150 bird species are regularly caught and killed by limesticks and mist nets in Cyprus, including almost 60 threatened species.

He denied that large birds such as owls get caught on limesticks.
He said the effect of limesticking on bird populations was small compared to changes in weather and other human activities, which he did not specify. “You have to recognise that this activity has been going on for hundreds of years.

Facts say otherwise concerning large birds being caught. And while habitat destruction does have a worse impact on bird populations, the unavoidable fact is that threatened bird populations don’t need the additional (and escalating) threat of poaching.

UPDATE – 9 May 2010

Cyprus Mail has reported on the public statement from BirdLife Cyprus: Public reactions to attack on bird activists ‘regrettable’

“The incident has also brought a deeply regrettable reaction from many local leaders, and MPs from the trapping heartland of Famagusta in particular,” BirdLife Cyprus said in a statement. “Rather than condemning the attack and calling for a renewed effort to stamp out trapping – which has been on a steep upward rise for the last three years – MPs and others have lined up to condemn the battered activists.”

But While BirdLife Cyprus never adopts activist tactics, we share in the frustration of the visiting activists, who are outraged at Cyprus’ inability to put an end to the indiscriminate and highly lucrative use of nets and limesticks.


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