A 24 year old man from Achna, which is close to the Dhekelia Sovereign Base, was sentenced to three months in prison after being found guilty of bird trapping and poaching by Dhekelia Sovereign Bases Area Court this morning. This is the first time a custodial sentence has been given for such a crime, ‘Cyprus Mail’ reports.
A Sovereign Base police spokesman, Andreas Pitsillides said, “This is the first time in the history of the SBA that someone has received a prison sentence for this type of crime. It is a serious offence for which the SBA has a zero tolerance policy,” following a search of the man’s house last May which unearthed 182 songbirds, five partridges, 14 quails and seven hares.
An estimated 1.5 million birds will have been killed according to reports by the RSPB and BirdLife Cyprus and British SBAs in Cyprus, at Akrotiri and Dhekelia, sites covering about 100 square miles of British sovereign territory and within which the UK maintains a permanent military presence are the largest areas where trapping takes place.