Authorities attitude resembled a boycott of the field survey and anti-poaching campaign Songbird poachers took advantage of this political choice of tolerance.
The Committee Against Bird Slaughter (CABS) and the Foundation Pro Biodiversity (SPA) have released their Cyprus Autumn 2013 Bird Protection Camp field report.
TEAM of international bird conservationists expressed serious concern at the extent of illegal killing of migratory birds in Cyprus and complained about a lack of help from the authorities.
CABS and SPA have publicly declared that a "zero tolerance policy” against songbird poaching should not be just a rhetorical political statement, but an actual, consistent and permanent effort by the competent political authorities and law enforcement agencies to protect wild bird species.
In 2013, the 4th Autumn Bird Protection Camp (BPC) was conducted over a period of three weeks, from 20 September to 13 October.
A total of 15 volunteers, from Cyprus, Germany, Italy, Hungary, England, Slovenia and Switzerland participated in the camp. Despite the fact that CABS volunteers did not received any operational support by the Cyprus Police, they were able to monitor 176 trapping sites, in which they located, recorded and dismantled 4,419 limesticks, 60 mist nets and 85 electronic decoys.
Furthermore, some 300 limesticks were seen, but left in fenced private properties, while 51 more electronic decoys were located exactly, but left on spot either because they were found in fenced private properties or for reasons of volunteers’ security.
Until spring 2013, BPCs were conducted with the full knowledge of, and in close cooperation with, all responsible public authorities and law enforcement agencies.
In spring 2013, after the initial successful operations and a number of prosecutions in the main trapping area of Famagusta district, trappers began to create political pressure in the major trapping hotspot of Paralimni.
As a result, the cooperation between CABS and the competent law enforcement agencies of the Republic of Cyprus was "temporarily” suspended by the newly appointed Minister of Justice and Public Order (MJPO).
Despite all efforts made by CABS to restore the joint operations and the positive statements made by the MJPO to again deploy a patrol of the Anti-Poaching Squad (APS) to assist volunteers, CABS did not receive any formal reply from the MJPO by the scheduled date of the Autumn BPC.
In contrast, by the end of the BPC, CABS teams had received the negative response of the Cyprus Police Headquarters and consequently they had not received any help at all by the responsible law enforcement agencies of the Republic of Cyprus, whose attitude resembled a boycott of the field survey and anti-poaching campaign.
CABS and SPA consider this boycott to be part of a wider strategy of the responsible political authorities in Cyprus to hinder anti-trapping operations and turn a blind eye to the trappers.
Songbird poachers took advantage of this political choice of tolerance: trapping again reached extremely high levels,  while trappers observed no fear of prosecution and demonstrated extreme violence towards anybody trying to disrupt the illegal but lucrative trapping activities.
With no police deployed on the ground against bird trapping, and only two Game Fund patrols – which consequently are responsible to cover the 1,211.82 square Km of the two main hotspots of Famagusta and Larnaca districts, and handle all hunting and poaching activities (from the protection of habitats and the management of wildlife to combating the illegal killing of and trade in game and protected species) – trappers enjoyed an almost complete impunity.