Cyprus Mail

Poachers fined over €13,000 (updated)

file photo: an owl trapped on a limestick

Two men were fined some €13,000 after police found illegal trapping equipment and game on a property in the Famagusta district.

It followed a search last Thursday by the force’s special anti-poaching unit in a fenced property in the area in the presence of the 60-year-old owner and the user of the land, 30.

During the search, police found and seized limesticks, used to trap birds, a number of dead and alive birds, and a dead hare.

The live birds were freed during the operation, police said.

On Monday, the owner of the land was fined €2,630 for possession of live game, possession of wild birds, and possession and use of limesticks.

The 30-year-old user of the land was fined €11,000 for possession of illegal game and protected birds.

The case followed another hefty fine imposed on a 67-year-old man in Larnaca for poaching. He was fined €21,586 for illegal bird trapping under a new law that was opposed by conservation groups.

BirdLife Cyprus welcomed the fines, saying they could act as deterrents.

“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,” it said. “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.”

However, it said, other provisions introduced under the June 30 law change remained “deeply worrying.”

Namely, amendments allowing hunters to take cooked game to restaurants, which ‘open the door’ to illegal offering of ambelopoulia in law-breaking restaurants.

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