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Three arrested for trapping migrating thrushes within SBAs

Three men have been arrested and given fixed penalty notices (FPN) totalling €4,500 for bird trapping offences within the Eastern Sovereign Base Areas in the past 10 days according to SBA Police officials.

The arrests, made on January 19, 21, 23, saw freshly killed thrushes, mistnets, bird imitating devices, shotguns and cartridges, seized by police patrols.

This follows an increased police presence working alongside Non-Governmental Organisations to combat the poaching of migrating thrushes between November and February.

In one case, a Greek Cypriot male was found in possession of three mistnets measuring 75 metres in length in the Ayios Nikolaos area, a huge total according to Superintendent Panicos Panayi.

Speaking shortly after the most recent arrest, also in Ayios Nikolaos, the superintendent was keen to stress there would be no let-up in the police activities to combat the threat of bird trapping.

“We take pride in the success we have achieved in reducing the amount of bird trapping taking place within the SBAs and we are determined to see that continue,” he said.

“Our working relationship with Bird Life Cyprus and the Committee Against Bird Slaughter (CABS) has also proved highly valuable in helping us effectively target bird trapping areas.

“These latest seizures were not insignificant, to find one man in possession of 75 metres of mistnets is a lot, you can only imagine how many birds could have been caught.”

Two of the men arrested and issued with FPNs are also due to appear in court facing “further charges for other offences”.

“We will continue to commit more resources on the ground and use every bit of technology available to us as we go forward. That means the use of drones and cameras to ensure we are able to better detect and arrest those intent on trapping migrating birds within the SBAs,” the superintendent said.

Famagusta Gazette