CABS volunteers today caught a bird trapper trapping dotterel birwina with a huge net installation near Sarraflu in Gozo.

They said in a statement that a bird guards team filmed a man in a blue T-shirt - probably in his late twenties - activating a clap net and setting out cages containing live decoy birds at around 8.15am.

Later, the organisation said that the man was identified and was being questioned by the police. The police, however, denied that this was the case.

CABS said that shortly before the arrival of the police the man received a phone call and began to deactivate the nets. As he realised that the officers had almost reached the site, he panicked and fled with the birds in their cages, CABS member Craig Redmond, whose team discovered the site said.

“His flight will not rescue him from the long arm of the Maltese law however. We have photos of the man setting his net and with the decoy birds in his hand. Identification should be no problem for the police,” Mr Redmond said.
When the police arrived on the site they discovered four 50m long clap nets, a pond and plastic decoys and a single live dotterel in a cage.

After a search of over an hour the bird guards found a further six cages and live birds that the man had discarded along the path of his flight.

The birds, three adults and four juveniles, had not been given food or water. They were seized by the police and, with assistance of the CABS team and taken to the police station in Victoria.

Another case of illegal bird trapping was discovered close to Buskett, a few hundred metres from Verdala Palace. This consisted of a clap net mounted on top of an aviary containing about a dozen turtle doves, several blackbirds and a golden plover clearly designed for trapping birds.

ALE officers seized the trap and are interviewing the owner of the property where the trap was found.

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