The Malta Independent 25 September 2022, Sunday
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CABS report hunter leaving 14-year-old unattended with loaded shotgun, more dead protected birds

Friday, 22 April 2022, 12:33 Last update: about 6 months ago

On Monday, a Committee Against Bird Slaughter (CABS) team reported a hunter for leaving a 14-year-old minor unattended with a loaded shotgun, the group said in a statement.

"The kid was filmed sitting alone in a hunting hide, holding the loaded shotgun and looking for birds," CABS said.

CABS has also made a number of reports regarding illegal hunting and trapping.

The group alerted the police after they found another five dead protected Marsh Harriers in Delimara this morning.


"The birds were found in two freshly harvested fields close to the Church of Our Lady of tas-Silg, where a team from BirdLife Malta witnessed the illegal shooting of roosting harriers in the night from Monday to Tuesday," CABS said in a statement.

"During a search operation in the area, police officers recovered five freshly shot Marsh Harriers - four of them still alive - in the area on Tuesday morning. According to CABS, it cannot be said yet whether the birds found today were killed during the same incident or earlier."

"What is clear, is that the fields in Delimara are a very important roosting area for harriers in spring and that these fields are located in one of the worst black spots for poaching on Malta", said CABS Wildlife Crime Officer Fiona Burrows. She added that the birds found today died in wheat-field and could only be spotted after the fields were harvested this morning. Therefore this bring the number of dead Marsh harriers found in the area since Tuesday to ten.

Police have taken the birds to the government vet to confirm if they were also shot. "There are many more unharvested wheat fields in Delimara and we don´t know how many more dead harriers will pop up in the next days", CABS Press Officer Axel Hirschfeld said. He announced that CABS will deploy additional teams Delimara to continue the search, monitor roosting birds and to prevent future massacres.

On Wednesday, CABS staff and the police shut down seven illegal bird trapping installations in Gozo. Among the traps seized were two 20-metre-long clap-nets and a large cage trap for turtle doves, from which six freshly caught birds were freed, the group said.

"Near the village of St Lawrence, two large mist-nets and four small cage traps for trapping turtle dove were discovered and dismantled on a garden plot. Near Marsalforn, CABS led the police to no less than three large quail nets, which were 'baited' with numerous live decoy birds. A total of 12 live quails were confiscated and released. In addition, two electronic decoy callers from which quail songs were played were also seized. The police have initiated preliminary proceedings against the landowners."

Last Monday a CABS team managed to film a poacher catching extremely rare Ortolan buntings on a trapping site in Gharghur, it said. "The man was apprehended by officers of the Environmental Protection Unit (EPU) and will be taken to court."

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