A group of activists against illegal bird trapping, who took matters into their own hands when they tried to disrupt an unlawful operation in Famagusta, uploaded a video showing they were being chased by local poachers in the dead of night.
According to a post on Facebook by CABS Italia, a branch of the Committee Against Bird Slaughter, a team of activists were being chased by illegal poachers on Sunday night through areas of Larnaca and Famagusta.
'We intervene in particular where bird trappers, hunters or animal traders commit offences against current nature protection legislation in Europe'
The activists, who were patrolling sites in the area, discovered two quail hunting lures after hearing dozen shots in the area. In a post on Facebook, it was reported that the shots were coming from a group of seven illegal hunters.
An official CABS position has been described as members of the organization pushing for parliamentary initiates while staying away from combative actions. But the group is also known for intervening in unlawful situations.
“We intervene in particular where bird trappers, hunters or animal traders commit offences against current nature protection legislation in Europe,” CABS says on their website.
In a video titled “CABS in Cyprus: high speed chase” that was uploaded by CABSItalia earlier this week, activists were shown calling authorities on speaker phone and asking them to come and remove the devices.
But after an official, presumed to be a gamekeeper in Larnaca who was heard saying there were no patrols in the area in question, the activists proceeded to taking matters into their own hands by removing the two quail lures.
The activists were then seen driving away in high speeds while one or two vehicles were chasing after them. There were no reports of anyone being harmed during the incident.
Bird trapping is illegal on the island but it went unnoticed until the Republic of Cyprus joined the European Union in 2004, pitting officials against local poachers who had been breaking the law for generations.
Recent efforts and public campaigns against illegal bird trapping have made a dent into the illegal and very lucrative enterprise, but local customs and traditions also make it difficult to root out perpetrators who serve illegal "ambelopoulia" delicacies to a wide clientele behind closed doors.
A number of incidents involving confrontations were caught on camera and posted on social media over the years, showing the dangers that activists often face on the front lines.