IAR joins up with CABS to mount 'Operation Safe Passage' in Malta
The Committee Against Bird Slaughter (CABS) has announced that it will once again mount operations to monitor illegal hunting and trapping on Malta and Gozo during September. According to their spokesperson Axel Hirschfeld, 24 CABS Bird Guards will be active on the archipelago from 10 September onwards to record illegal shooting and trapping of protected bird species and to identify and report poachers to the Maltese Police.
Operation 'Safe Passage', involving bird conservationists from Bulgaria, Germany, Italy, Sweden and the United Kingdom, is the seventh successive operation of its kind since 2007. As in previous years CABS will work closely with International Animal Rescue in Malta and the Administrative Law Enforcement Police department. They will also collaborate with other NGOs working to ensure the safe passage of migrating birds.
The focus of operations will be the monitoring of important bird migration corridors and roosts using digital cameras and high performance spotting scopes. In addition the teams will check that the afternoon hunting ban imposed by the Maltese Government from 15 to 30 September is complied with. Teams in tourist clothing will also locate and report illegal trapping installations for wader and song bird species. Hirschfeld states: "All offences will be rigorously documented and the material turned over to the police for use as evidence in prosecutions".
In response to the cowardly attacks on CABS personnel and vehicles in April and May of this year, the organisation has hired professional security guards for its autumn operations. "We will also equip all our patrol vehicles with video cameras in order to identify any persons responsible for criminal vandalism. We hope that this will deter potential attackers and thereby prevent an escalation of violence," comments CABS' president Heinz Schwarze.