The annual operation run by the German group Committee Against Bird Slaughter (CABS) to protect migrating birds from being shot illegally on the Island of Malta starts this weekend (14 September.) This year the group includes more than 40 volunteers from nine countries. The guards taking part in the camps will be stationed on both Malta and Gozo.
The main aim of the CABS teams is to deter the shooting down of protected migrating bird species. Its bird guards will also search for illegal bird traps, nets and electronic decoy devices and report them to the law enforcement agencies.
CABS said it welcomed the announcement by Parliamentary Secretary Roderick Galdes that more than 100 police officers, including mounted patrols, will be deployed to combat poaching this autumn. CABS President Heinz Schwarze said that everyone was delighted to hear that the Administrative Law Enforcement unit (ALE) was at last being reinforced and will now hopefully also be capable of more proactive action against poaching. In this connection the group praised the professional work of the ALE unit and the Gozo police, which led to the arrest of flamingo killers earlier in the week.
The CABS team will include a number of professional ornithologists and biologists with considerable field experience in various countries in Central and Southern Europe. They will be open to having contact with members of the public and ready to discuss or advise on ornithological or environmental matters.
The operation will continue until the end of September and will be conducted in close co-operation with International Animal Rescue Malta, BirdLife Malta and the Malta Police Force. The CABS teams on Gozo will be supported by members of the German Foundation Pro Biodiversity (SPA), which is also supporting the camp with a significant financial contribution.