Ask Cyprus to End Songbird Slaughter

  • by: Judith B.
  • recipient: Ministry of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment, Republic of Cyprus

Hundreds of thousands of little birds are killed as they migrate through Cyprus every year. They are destined to become a very expensive restaurant delicacy.

Trappers use completely unselective methods, including mist nets, which trap every flying animal that goes past. Although blackcaps are the main target, over 150 different bird species are caught, of which about 80 are endangered. Species trapped include robins, shrikes and the colourful little bee eaters pictured.

Songbirds already face a multitude of problems, ranging from habitat destruction to their populations being ravaged by domestic and feral cats. The last thing they need is wholesale slaughter to become a luxury dish.

The slaughter is also illegal, but the authorities appear to turn a blind eye. Ask the Cyprus government to get serious about looking after the environment and enforcing their own laws.

We the undersigned ask that you take measures to stop the illegal trapping and killing of hundreds of thousands of songbirds each year. 

This is no longer a small scale traditional activity. This is the mass slaughter of a great number of birds, many of them already threatened, in order to profit from the high prices their meat commands in restaurants. 

Aside from their intrinsic importance as an important part of Europe’s biodiversity, these birds provide essential ecological services, for example in the control of pest insects. Slaughter on this scale is simply not sustainable.

Please ensure that a blind eye is no longer turned to this ecologically devastating activity.

Thank you for your attention.

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