The Malta Independent 10 December 2018, Monday

Number of protected birds found shot ‘makes this autumn hunting season worst in past few years’

Joanna Demarco Thursday, 11 January 2018, 08:09 Last update: about 12 months ago

52 illegally shot, protected birds have been reported so far since this autumn hunting season has kicked off, causing concern to conservational NGO Bird Life, who has said that it is a high number of reported casualties when compared to the past few years.  The hunting season is ongoing and open till the end of January.

“We usually judge the illegal hunting situation mostly in terms by the amount of birds found by the members of the public, that are shot and injured, and then recovered by the police, by the authorities, or by us,” Bird Life’s conservation manager Nicholas Barbara told The Malta Independent yesterday, following a press conference about the situation regarding the European Court of Justice’s verdict on finch trapping in Malta.

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“When compared to the past few years, this year’s has been the worst, looking just at the numbers,” he continued.  52 is the total number of shot protected birds reported between 1st September and 31st December 2017. 

Barbara highlighted the injured flamingoes as one the ‘public would remember’, and went on to mention the ‘level of enforcement and impunity’ as the most worrying factor.

“What is more worrying is the level of enforcement and the impunity by which the police is enforcing out there,” he said. “What we have seen is that there has been less motivation by the police to enforce the season.”

“We have seen this for ourselves, whenever we have called the police to attend to illegal hunting or illegal trapping incidents, where the response time was really long, or sometimes we had situations were very few police cars were out at any one time, even though it was peak hunting season,” he concluded.    

 

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