In the Cyprus Mail: Hunting the hunters —
THEY say “the early bird catches the worm” but what they don’t tell you is how early you have to be up to catch the bird. And, as I discovered last Saturday, you have to be up even earlier to catch the bird-hunter. This was the first of several unpleasant discoveries I made, when I joined a 12 man task force of Game Fund, Cyprus police and Sovereign Base Area (SBA) police in a series of dawn raids on bird trappers.
And more: Bird trapping thrives despite criminalisation —
FORTY liberated birds, four mist nets and two arrests: all in a morning’s work for the joint police force on the hunt for illegal bird trappers last Saturday. It was a good haul, but in reality a mere fraction of the likely total caught in the Sovereign Base Area (SBA) that night. With 100 active locations, almost 2,500 birds worth almost €10,000 could have made their way to the island’s restaurants. Last week’s raids coincided with the release of Birdlife Cyprus’ latest report on the bird trapping trade, which shows mist netting has risen by a staggering 140 per cent compared to last year. Trapping is at a ten year high. Birdlife Cyprus estimates that 1.5 million songbirds were slaughtered in 2009 and fears that number could soar to well over two million this year. The more traditional lime-sticking rose 265 per cent.