By pure chance this morning I happened on a report put out by BirdLife International last autumn. Dated October, 2011 it details the disgusting increase in catching songbirds last autumn in Cyprus and the apparent lack of any meaningful action by the Authorities to limit the activities of those responsible.
Between 1st September and 9th October field work by BirdLife noted over 866,000 birds had been slaughtered!
Such activities, using lime sticks and mist nets, have occurred previously and the problem is not new. The "catch" is then used in the preparation of delicacies sold in restaurants named ambelopoulia. Action has been taken to draw this to the attention of the Cypriot Authorities, but it would seem such protestations have largely fallen on deaf ears.
Instead of petitions and the like, is it not time that such ridiculous behaviour becomes the focus of attention, routinely, not exceptionally, of the relevant Directorate in the European Commission given that Cyprus has been a member of the EU since 2004? I seem to remember lobbying on this subject previously when it was announced that some of the trapping had even taken place within the boundaries of the UK garrison on Cyprus. Given the state of the Cypriot ( and Greek ) economy now is the time to put real pressure on the authorities with meaningful threats involved in order to bring about a cessation to the practice. Hand waving and voluble presentations aren't enough! Actions by the authorities, noted by all , would serve to be a lesson and indicate commitment to the problem which , hitherto, appears to be somewhat lacklustre at best. One hopes that, in the light of the above report, some improvements have been gained in the intervening months. It would be nice to think so!
On the other hand, if you're contemplating a holiday to Cyprus, consider somewhere else. I'm sure in the current economic climate there are endless other places to consider where more civilised practices are in place!!
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