Cyprus Mail

Repeat bird trapper caught red handed using limesticks

file photo: an owl trapped on a limestick

A Paralimni bird trapper was caught red-handed for the sixth time, the Committee Against Bird Slaughter (Cabs) and the SPA (Stiftung Pro Artenvielfalt Foundation) said on Monday.

According to Cabs, he was caught on Friday in possession of 12 limesticks and two freshly killed blackcap birds.

The NGOs said the man is facing a fine of more than €8,000 for “hunting or trapping outside the permitted season”, which ended back in February.

“This person is a well-known and notorious poacher who is known to repeatedly target birds in his fenced property every year and during every migration season,” Cabs operations officer Andrea Rutigliano said.

The two NGOs noted that the suspect has been previously prosecuted at least five times. In spring 2012 the suspect was prosecuted for using nets and limesticks; then again just three days later he was found in possession of 130 limesticks. In autumn 2014, he was caught with 360 limesticks and a decoy. In autumn 2015, he was caught twice by the police with 107 and 118 limesticks respectively.

“This latest case just goes to prove the point that he simply does not fear any retribution and is happy to continue illegally trapping without concern,” Rutigliano added.

CABS and SPA welcomed the high fine due to “trapping outside the season”, but noted that there are many similar cases of repeat offenders who continue to trap birds despite being legally convicted.

“These people still take the risk because the fines for the use of limesticks are ridiculously low,” Cabs president Heinz Swartz said.

“We therefore urge the government to review and increase the current fines for convictions against the use of limesticks and repeat offenders.”

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