The Prince of Wales has written a letter calling for an end to what he describes as “the industrial-scale killing” of songbirds on British Army bases in Cyprus.
The practice of trapping songbirds has been illegal in Cyprus since 1974. However the trade continues and is apparently booming. More than 150 different species totalling around 1.5 million migrating birds are killed each year on their route between Britain and Africa, and an estimated one-third of them are killed on British army bases.
In his letter, Prince Charles requested that non-native acacia plants be uprooted at the British Sovereign Base of Dhekelia, as the trappers use them to attract birds as they pass by on their migratory route between Britain and Africa. He suggests that the number of songbirds killed during their autumn migration could be significantly reduced if the acacia plants were removed. "This would not only at a stroke save hundreds of thousands of birds being killed illegally on British soil,” he says, “but would also prevent significant profits from flowing into the pockets of the serious organized criminals who control this barbaric practice.”