Cyprus issues an unprecedented fine of 21k for wildlife poisoning

A €21,000 fine was issued by the prosecuting authorities a few days ago for the killing of wild birds using poison baits. The fine represents a big step forward that will hopefully have a strong deterrent effect on similar illegal actions, which have a devastating impact on Cyprus wildlife, a BirdLife Cyprus press release said.

The fine was issued for offenses that took place in December 2021, where three birds of prey, two Bonelli’s Eagles and one Long-legged Buzzard, were found dead near Dierona village in the Limassol district.

The identification of the precise location of the above dead birds was made possible through the signals of the GPS transmitter that had been fitted on one of the eagles, which is what mobilized the Game and Fauna Service to investigate in the area in collaboration with the Police, BirdLife Cyprus said.

Upon investigation, evidence collected linked the mortality of the bird victims to a specific individual. The individual was handed a fine for the offense of killing wild birds with the use of poison and the offense of intentionally killing and/or capturing a protected wild bird. The necropsy and related toxicological analyses on the dead birds showed that their death was caused by carbofuran, a highly toxic and banned substance.

The suspect was fined €21,000 under the provisions of the Protection and Management of Wild Birds and Game Law of 2003.

In the case that the fine is not paid, the suspect will be taken to court. According to the provisions of the above legislation, the court can impose a prison sentence of up to 3 years or a fine of up to €20,000 or a combination of these for each offense separately.

According to Melpo Apostolidou, PRogramme Coordinator at BirdLife Cyprus, Cyprus is prepared to follow the examples of other European countries and to further invest in prevention policies and other policies that fight the illegal poisoning of wildlife.

Source: Cyprus News Agency