Wild-caught Bird Trade
If you don't care about goldfinches, bullfinches and other species being
trapped for the bird trade then ignore this message. If you do care go to:
CYPRUS - STILL WORK FOR US TO DO!
From the Cyprus Conservation Federation:
Thank you for keeping us in mind despite the other bird crises on the
You will be pleased to know that Melis Charalambides (Proact reported
separately) informed us yesterday that during this migration season the
situation was much improved. The wardens were out there really
actively. Nevertheless the Spring migration has always been much less
significant than the Autumn one.
Please find below the report we sent to the Bern Convention Bureau in
- - - - -
REPORT SENT BY THE CYPRUS CONSERVATION FEDERATION (CCF) TO THE BERN
CONVENTION BUREAU IN APRIL 2002
Briefing from the Cyprus Conservation Foundation on the two issues
affecting Cyprus, submitted jointly with the Cyprus Ornithological
Society concerning issue No. . (Migratory birds)
Mr Eladio Fernandez Galiano, head of the Council of Europe's Natural
Heritage Division visited Cyprus in January in accordance with the
decision of the Standing Committee.
[The fate of the Akamas peninsula was the key issue on the agenda, and
Mr Fernandez-Galiano was accompanied by Mr Tony Ellul, a planning expert
from Malta.] The visit was also an occasion to raise the question of
the illegal massacre of migratory birds.
Prior to Mr Fernandez-Galiano's arrival, the Cyprus Conservation
Foundation and the Cyprus Ornithological Society sent a letter to a
number of public officials, enquiring from each official what action his
department was taking, suggesting particular measures, and recommending
that an overall action plan was necessary to confront the situation on
various levels. The officials who received the letter were: the Attorney
General, the Interior Minister, the Justice Minister, the Minister for
Agriculture, Natural Resources and the Environment, the Director of the
Forestry Department, the Director of the Water Development Department,
the Director of the Agriculture Department and the Director of the Game
Their reaction has ranged from defensive, to positive, to none at all.
The Interior Minister took offence and publicly stated that a group of
Cypriots had "made exaggerated accusations against their own country",
zealously seeking to defame Cyprus. An exchange of correspondence with
the Minister followed, but little came of it.
The Game Fund became more vigilant in their raids and have so far
pressed charges against five or six tavernas and supermarkets that were
illegally trading in birds. This is the first time that action is being
taken against retail outlets and it will not be certain, until the cases
are tried in court how far they can succeed. The Game Fund has also
launched a new initiative with the British Sovereign Bases Area, whereby
joint patrols scour popular bird-trapping grounds once or twice a week.
The SBA authorities themselves have increased the fines on trapping in
their own territories. Moreover, 'ambelopoulia' have been added to the
list of protected species contained in the Cyprus Law on Hunting, 39/74.
It would therefore be fair to say that some action has been taken on the
monitoring and enforcement side, although none so far with a view to
changing public attitudes. Also the draft law to strengthen enforcement,
which was prepared in 1999, has yet to reach finalisation, and no one
can say when it might be presented to Parliament. It should be added
that this time of the year is not representative of the true situation
as most illegal trapping takes place in the Autumn. Therefore, autumn
will be the time when the Government's intentions will be put to the
test, and, as already mentioned, increasing raids and prosecutions,
which is a lengthy process, is not enough. For this reason we ask that
the issue continues to be very closely watched and that the possibility
of opening a file should continue.
Dr Artemis Yiordamli
Cyprus Conservation Foundation
Head of international relations
Cyprus Ornithological Society
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