Dismantling 600 meters of mist nets in Iklim Al Kharoub
Some 600 meters of bird mist nets have been removed from seven sites in Iklim El Kharoub, in the areas of Dibbiyeh, Al Borjein, Barja, and Al Shmmais. Mist nets are near-invisible nets, and birds fly straight into the net. One net can trap 400 birds.
The poachers have found that the most efficient way of trapping birds is to use a “mist net” strung between bushes.
The Anti-poaching unit that works as a Liaison between for Sustainable Hunting program for SPNL (Society for the Protection of Nature in Lebanon), and the Middle East Sustainable Hunting Center (MESHC) in partnership with the Committee Against Bird Slaughter (CABS), conducted the raid in cooperation with the Internal Security Forces (ISF).
The action was in response to recent intelligence received regarding industrial-scale trapping and killing of songbirds for sale on the black market. The raid sends a strong message that illegal bird trapping will not be tolerated and perpetrators face significant fines or even custodial sentences. Investigations are ongoing regarding the suspect(s) involved.
The songbirds are sold on the black market to be roasted or fried and eaten as a local delicacy. Criminal gangs are thought to earn huge sums from the trade.
Lebanon is committed to tackling illegal bird crime. SPNL and its partners are pleased that there is a significant increase in enforcement activity that has led to a record number of arrests, equipment seizures, prosecutions, and fines.
According to hunting law (580/2004) violations can be punished with a fine of up to 500,000 Lira or alternatively with up to one-month imprisonment. In addition, the hunting permit can be withdrawn for up to three years in the case of serious offenses. In the case of repeat offenders, the double penalty applies.
The anti-poaching project in Lebanon is based on partnership and cooperation between MESHC and SPNL on the one hand, and between SPNL and the MSB – Migratory Soaring Birds Project funded by the Global Environment Fund (GEF) and the project to fight illegal hunting funded by MAVA, on the other hand.