Bill Oddie speaks against bird trapping in the Med

Conservationist, wildlife expert and TV personality Bill Oddie OBE has voiced his concerns about bird trapping across the Mediterranean and will be travelling to Malta from 14-17 April 2014 to support BirdLife Malta’s campaign to abolish spring hunting of migratory birds, reports ‘Malta Today’.

Oddie, who will be joining CEO of the League Against Cruel Sports Joe Duckworth in support of Birdlife Malta’s campaign to abolish spring time hunting of migratory birds says:

“Every spring, literally several million migrant birds are slaughtered round the Mediterranean and it is getting worse. In some countries – Cyprus and Egypt for example – catering for the ‘local delicacy’ trade is big business,” Oddie said.

In Cyprus, the RSPB and BirdLife Cyprus began monitoring the illegal trapping of songbirds in 2002 and the problem became the focus of interest of Prince Charles who, last month wrote to the most senior Army commander in Cyprus, as well as to the island’s president, condemning the “industrial scale killing”. The prince claimed that it is big business, run by “serious organised criminals“.

Last year, an estimated 1.5 million birds were killed according to reports and British Sovereign Base Areas in Cyprus, at Akrotiri and Dhekelia, which cover about 100 square miles of British sovereign territory are the largest areas where trapping takes place. However, illegal trapping of birds is widespread.

BirdLife Cyprus issued a press release on 8th February 2014 calling upon the competent authorities to implement ‘zero tolerance’ towards wildlife crime, as over the last few months incidents of poaching and illegal bird trapping have reached shocking levels.

“The current winter is one of the worst we have seen for illegal shooting and trapping”, says Clairie Papazoglou, Executive Director of BirdLife Cyprus. “We have been overwhelmed with reports of poaching in recent months and it is increasingly clear that a strategic approach is necessary to reverse this situation, with the involvement of all stakeholders”, concluded Papazoglou.

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