In mid-August, a man from the Larnaca district was fined €21.586 for poaching and illegal bird trapping, following the controversial recent law amendment. When the competent authorities searched the 67 year old’s house after catching him red-handed on the 9th of August, they found and confiscated 2 freshly killed hares, 5 young Chukar partridges, 24 Song thrushes and 4 mist nets.
BirdLife Cyprus welcomes this deterrent on-the-spot fine, imposed under the new legal provisions. We hope that the Game and Fauna Service and the other enforcement agencies can continue to hand out deterrent fines to lawbreakers who illegally kill birds. BirdLife Cyprus and other environmental groups opposed the law change introducing on-the-spot fines for all bird killing offences, concerned such a system would be unenforceable. But we would be delighted to be proved wrong on this point, if deterrent fines continue to be imposed! That said, other provisions introduced under the June 30th law change remain deeply worrying, namely the effective decriminalisation of limesticks and amendments allowing hunters to take cooked game to restaurants, which ‘open the door’ to illegal offering of ambelopoulia in law-breaking restaurants.
Poaching and illegal bird trapping remain serious problems in Cyprus and in order to combat them everyone has a role to play. If you become aware of poaching or illegal trapping you can report these incidents to BirdLife Cyprus, who will report it to the competent authorities safeguarding your anonymity. To do so, you can download our newly launched mobile application which is free and available for both Android and iOS mobile phones and tablets. To learn more about the app and to download it, For more information on how to report poaching and illegal bird killing, please Contact us.