The Malta Independent 20 June 2021, Sunday

Watch: Hunter shoots down protected turtle dove at Chadwick Lakes

Wednesday, 28 April 2021, 14:30 Last update: about 3 months ago

A Maltese hunter was caught on video shooting a protected turtle dove.

Footage of the incident was uploaded to Twitter by the Committee Against Bird Slaughter (CABS).

It said the footage was taken by one of its teams in the field at Chadwick Lakes.

The footage shows the hunder speaking on a walkie talkie and dropping the device and raising his “illegally adapted” semi-automatic shotgun as soon as he spots the low-flying bird. He fires off five shots in quick succession. At least one of the shots hits the bird, sending a cloud of feathers into the air.

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The bird was, “one of thousands currently running the gauntlet across the, Maltese archipelago at the moment; en route to their breeding grounds in continental Europe,” CABS said.

“The suspect is one of four poachers we have identified in just the last few days. In two other incidents the perpetrators had also shot at turtle doves, in one case at a kestrel – both strictly protected,” the group said.

The hunting season us open until Friday. The Common Quail is the only legally huntable species.

“In all cases, the offenders can be identified beyond reasonable doubt from the footage and vehicles documented by our teams. The evidence has already been handed over to the police and criminal proceedings initiated,” CABS said.

A number of hunting illegalities have been reported by Birdlife Malta over the past few weeks. On Wednesday, a hunter was granted bail after he was charged with shooting down a protected Honey Buzzard in Mizieb.  

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