May 062012
 

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

Bee-Eater with Shotgun Injury – Photo by Cally Higginbottom

Over 730 illegal hunting incidents were recorded by BirdLife Malta’s Spring Watch teams during the spring hunting derogation period between the 12th April and 30th April, BirdLife Malta announced today. This figure is based on an initial analysis of the data gathered by BirdLife Malta’s Spring Watch teams and does not include illegalities recorded by the Committee Against Bird Slaughter.

The illegalities recorded by BirdLife include hunters targeting protected species, exceeding the season’s legal daily bag limit, hunting outside permitted hours, and hunting without wearing the yellow armbands, a legal requirement of the derogation.

In addition, the conservation organisation received 14 shot protected birds since the opening of the spring hunting season (1). This compares with nine shot protected birds received during the same period in 2008 and 2009 together, when spring hunting was not permitted.

BirdLife teams also witnessed over 50 instances of hunters shooting at protected birds, and observed more than 40 protected birds in flight with injuries consistent with shotgun fire.

“These figures are just a small indicator of the killing of protected species during their spring migration over Malta. We do not know how many shot protected birds were received by the police, the veterinary services, the National Museum of Natural History and other organisations,” BirdLife Malta conservation and policy officer, Nicholas Barbara said.

“What we do know is that when a spring hunting season is opened, thousands of protected birds migrating to their breeding grounds in Europe are in peril over Malta. The government’s denial of the scale of illegal hunting is only encouraging the poachers who year after year continue with their carnage with almost no scrutiny.” Barbara claimed.

BirdLife also revealed that the ‘strict supervision’ condition for this year’s derogation was clearly not met due to the very limited police presence compared to over 6,000 licensed hunters.

While the government announced that 50 police officers would control the activities of thousands of hunters, in actual fact BirdLife recorded on average only four police vehicles on patrol at any given time. The 50 police officers officially quoted as enforcing the spring hunting derogation appear to have been working in shifts and sharing a handful of cars.

“Despite the best intentions of the under-resourced ALE Unit, a derogation permitting thousands of hunters has not been strictly supervised. This year’s spring hunting derogation is yet another example of Malta deceiving the European Commission by exploiting the derogation loophole in the Birds Directive.”

A detailed analysis of the data gathered by BirdLife Malta during the spring hunting derogation period will be prepared and submitted to the European Commission in the coming weeks.

This article was written and published by BirdLife Malta.

Share this post with your friends

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  




Facebook Comments

Leave a Reply

avatar
Martin

I have been to many Mediterranean islands, and loved them all, but have always avoided Malta as a protest against this barbaric slaughter. I will be happy to visit and support their tourist industry once it is stopped. The EU should take a very hard line with them and fine them mercilessly until then!

wpDiscuz

Top-Viewed Posts Last 30 Days

  1. POLL: Should the MOTV trophy hunting channel be closed down? [1723 Views]
  2. POLL: Should the trophy hunting of lions be banned? [1601 Views]
  3. POLL: Should there be a tough crack down on the killing of raptors? [1258 Views]
  4. POLL: Should captivity for all killer whales be banned? [1224 Views]
  5. POLL: Should the keeping of dolphins in captivity be banned? [1197 Views]
  6. POLL: Should trophy hunting be banned? [1161 Views]
  7. POLL: Should elephants be kept in captivity? [1120 Views]
  8. POLL: Should the pangolin slaughter in Africa be banned? [883 Views]
  9. Karma? Another Trophy Hunter Has Been Killed by an Elephant [859 Views]
  10. POLL: Should Japan be sanctioned for slaughtering Minke whales? [720 Views]

Top-Viewed Posts Last 12 Months

  1. POLL: Should there be a worldwide ban on fur farms? [16951 Views]
  2. Gray Squirrels versus Red Squirrels – The Facts [9182 Views]
  3. POLL: Should foxes be culled to protect domestic pets? [3799 Views]
  4. POLL: Should the cruel sport of bullfighting be banned? [2873 Views]
  5. POLL: Should Canada ban the hunting of seals? [2667 Views]
  6. POLL: Should the Tories be allowed to bring back fox hunting? [2578 Views]
  7. POLL: Should wild elephants be sold to Chinese zoos? [2322 Views]
  8. POLL: Should Japan be sanctioned for slaughtering Minke whales? [2289 Views]
  9. POLL: Should Japan’s “research whaling” program be closed down? [2150 Views]
  10. POLL: Should all tiger farms in China be closed down? [2081 Views]