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Hefty fines for illegal bird trappers by Bases court

A court of the British Bases in Dhekelia has issued fines between €820 and €2,500 to thirteen people, in the past ten days, for illegally trapping birds, a press release said on Monday.

“In the past 10 days the Bases court in Dhekelia has issued fines to 13 bird trappers, many of whom, who were caught in the act by hidden surveillance cameras on the Cape Pyla ranges,” the Bases said.

“The unsuspecting individuals, who have been fined between €820 and €2500, had no idea their illegal activities were filmed by special motion-sensitive activated cameras as they plucked birds trapped in their mist nets and callously killed them,” it added.

The cameras had been fixed in place in a collaborative enterprise between the Bases and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) in the autumn migrating season last year.

“We are committed to deterring this cruel and illegal activity and these cases are a demonstration that we will not tolerate illegal hunting inside the Bases,” Bases spokesman Sean Tully said.

“The use of technology is just one of our many plans to catch and convict criminals,” he added.

At the same time he assured that they would be collaborating with both Birdlife Cyprus and the RSPB in the future migrating seasons to deter, detect and disrupt the trappers.

On his part the Chief Constable of the bases Chris Eyre said that “we have a dedicated anti-poaching team who will be deployed wherever and whenever to catch those that chose to flout the law.”

A total of 78 persons have been arrested or reported for bird trapping in the 2016/2017 migratory period. The British Bases have also recovered  more than 800 mist nets that would have caught more than 280,000 birds while they have seized more than €75,000 worth of bird trapping equipment.

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