Birds: Gun Sports and Trapping

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 9th June 2021.

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Photo of Lord Hylton Lord Hylton Crossbench

To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps have been taken since 2004 to reduce, and if possible eliminate, the (1) trapping, and (2) shooting, of migrating birds in the Sovereign Base Areas in Cyprus, in particular since the Larnaca Declaration of 2011.

Photo of Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)

The Sovereign Base Areas Administration (SBAA) has a zero tolerance policy towards the trapping and killing of wild birds and continues to make significant efforts to prevent the trapping in the Eastern Sovereign Base Areas of Cyprus, using increased enforcement and denial of trapping opportunities.

The Sovereign Base Areas (SBA) Police continue to use a detect, deter and disrupt strategy against the trappers. This includes seeking improved evidence collection, using enhanced surveillance equipment, resulting in greater fixed penalty notices and/or court sentences. The programme of seizing bird trapping paraphernalia continues, as does extensive patrolling by the SBA Police during the migratory seasons.

The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) and BirdLife Cyprus have recognised the SBAA’s continued efforts highlighting an estimated 94% reduction in mist netting activity in 2020 compared to the baseline year of 2002.

All opportunities are taken to enhance the excellent cooperation between the SBAA, the RSPB, BirdLife Cyprus and other NGOs involved in preventing illegal bird trapping.

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