Cyprus Mail

Bases destroy trapper irrigation pipes

The British bases (SBA) said Friday they have destroyed two kilometres of irrigation pipes on Cape Pyla used to water acacia bushes planted with the sole purpose of trapping birds.

The operation, which took place on Thursday, follows a similar action last month in which over one kilometre of pipes were destroyed.

The piping, which is laid by criminal trapping gangs, is used to promote the growth of acacia bushes purposely planted by trappers and used to set mist nets to catch migrating birds.

“There will be no rest in our efforts to tackle the issue of bird trapping,” bases spokesman Sean Tully said. “We are more than ready for the forthcoming migration season and our dedicated Crime Action Team (CAT) will be patrolling night and day. Every trapper caught will be prosecuted.”

Trully said the bases had comprehensive and wide ranging plans to detect and arrest anybody who sought to break the law by illegally hunting birds.

According to a written statement, last week SBA courts handed down suspended prison sentences to three bird trapping offenders ranging between four and six months, alongside fines of €900.

“The Bases commitment to detect, deter and disrupt the activity of illegal trappers was demonstrated in the last migration season when they used hidden cameras in a joint venture with the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds to catch trappers,” the statement said. “This operation produced a string of prosecutions and contributed to a total of almost 80 trappers that were arrested or reported for bird crime, some were fined €2500.”

Tully said the pipes also presented a trip hazard for soldiers training with live ammunition.

“These pipes are laid indiscriminately without the knowledge of the Bases personnel; they could very easily be the cause of a serious accident.”


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