An Inside Look at Cyprus’s Songbird Massacre

According to a recent Telegraph article by Joe Shute, about 2.3 million birds are killed in Cyprus annually. In this video, you will get the perspectives of activists who risk their lives to document the trapping and disrupt poachers’ traps, poachers who share their technique and reasons for engaging in this activity, and locals who’re dismayed that their tradition of trapping and killing birds is outlawed.

***Footage of poacher hurting and killing a songbird appears at 22:00. Viewer discretion is advised.***


6 thoughts on “An Inside Look at Cyprus’s Songbird Massacre

  1. “In the 21st century this should be unjustifiable” – Indeed. Andreas Rutigliano is a brave and commendable human being. I hope the UK Sovereign Base forces also keep up the ‘war’ on illegal poaching of song birds.

    Just a couple of points – No one forced Cyprus to join the EU in 2004. By doing so, Cyprus agreed to abide by EU directives (including the subsequent EU Birds Directive 2009/147/EC). The excuse that the economic crash and subsequent bail-out in 2013 has ‘caused’ the need to indulge on an industrial scale in Ambelopoulia is a nonsense – For a start, the Cyprus economic crash was self-inflicted, with an oversized ‘off-shore’ (ie. a Russian tax haven for depositors) banking regime taking high risk investments in Greece – Cyprus had many warnings and a chance to reduce its banking exposure, but opted not to. The Cyprus economy returned to economic growth in 2015 with Capital Controls lifted in April, with IMF loans this year of 280m Euro.

    Just because something is ‘traditional’ does not make it right. Mankind (in general) has surely moved on from seeking to ‘profit’ or ‘make a living’ from the illegal and indiscriminate abuse/killing of migrating song birds.

    The Greek Cypriot ‘victim mentality’ appears in the foreground on the issue of Ambelopoulia – anyone that doesn’t agreed is threatened and/or labelled a ‘traitor’ to some Greek Cypriot vison of ‘nationalism.’ It’s a pity that ‘nationalism’ doesn’t extend to just enjoying the songs of the migrating birds’ themselves that happen to pass through Cyprus and could be enjoyed without the Cypriots feeling compelled to kill them.

    If Ambelopoulia (crunching up sharp bones and the little dead song bird’s meagre flesh) is the height of Greek Cypriot cuisine, then it might be best to holiday and dine elsewhere perhaps.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yep, I surely don’t understand this justification either, “The excuse that the economic crash and subsequent bail-out in 2013 has ‘caused’ the need to indulge on an industrial scale in Ambelopoulia is a nonsense.” People have fallen on hard times and rampant unemployment here in the States as well, but I don’t see people turning to poaching some animals species en masse. I’m surprised they don’t have the ingenuity to figure out other ways to feed themselves – relocate if one must; start up a legal, humane business – the emergence of artisan food businesses here come to mind and a few become very successful if they can scale up (start-up costs are even cheaper if it’s one that doesn’t require a physical building), etc.

      I agree that a nation, such as theirs, should take responsibility for their own contributions to their economic trajectory and own up to their own decisions and mistakes rather than displace this responsibility onto others where no one was “holding a gun to their heads” to take a particular course of action.

      Liked by 1 person

      • L.P. I have sent an IWB letter to a potential ally within the EU (Catherine Bearder MEP set up a group called MEPs4WildLife, March 2015).

        I hope to meet with Catherine Bearder MEP next week – I will try to raise the subject of the letter I am sending to her today, regarding the peril of migratory birds and the extensive illegal activities of some EU Member States that harm/kill them.


        Note: I have referenced your original Cecil’s Pride blog article as a source on my related IWB website News article, so you may need to ‘approve’ the link to your Cecil’s Pride blog article please!

        Liked by 1 person

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