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.
You may also like:
Leave a Comment
Top-Viewed Posts Last 30 Days
- POLL: Should lion canned hunting be banned in South Africa? » [1341 Views]
- Video: Incredible footage shows leopard attacking two male antelope while they fight » [622 Views]
- Video: Watch what happens when you give a squirrel a GoPro » [508 Views]
- Video: Killer Whales Attack Pod of Narwhal » [506 Views]
- Video: Rare Black Sea Devil Caught on Film for the First Time » [453 Views]
- Grey seals identified as killers behind mystery harbour porpoise deaths » [423 Views]
- New Pictures of Hollywood Cougar Show Sleeker, Healthier Cat » [410 Views]
- Video: Watch the Incredible Migration of Thousands of Giant Spider Crabs in Australia » [391 Views]
- Listen to New Bird Species Discovered in Brazil: Cryptic Treehunter » [373 Views]
- Video: Humpback Whales Cause Quite the Surprise As They Hunt for Herring » [361 Views]
Top-Viewed Posts Last 12 Months
- » POLL: Should the ban on fox hunting be relaxed in the UK? [10958 Views]
- POLL: Should the Faroe Islands’ whale slaughter be allowed to continue? » [7972 Views]
- POLL: Should the fox-hunting laws in the UK be relaxed? » [7407 Views]
- POLL: Should the Dolphin Slaughter in Taiji Cove be stopped? » [5661 Views]
- Petition: Stop Lion Canned Hunting in South Africa – Shocking Video » [4916 Views]
- Komodo and its Dragons » [4701 Views]
- POLL: Should bear hunting be banned in the US? » [4023 Views]
- POLL: Should the trophy hunting of giraffes be banned? » [3177 Views]
- POLL: Should lion canned hunting be banned in South Africa? » [3157 Views]
- POLL: Should China’s shameful tiger farms be closed down? » [2934 Views]