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 badger culls be continued in the UK? » [909 Views]
- Poll: Should hunting of black bears in Florida be allowed? » [904 Views]
- Fishermen get crafty to circumvent shark fin ban » [674 Views]
- Weasel photographed riding on a woodpecker’s back » [673 Views]
- Viral Video: Stealthy Octopus Leaps From Water and Attacks Crab » [593 Views]
- After a cruel attack, an injured toucan will get its beak back, thanks to 3D printing » [487 Views]
- Blue-Bearded Helmetcrest Rediscovered in Colombia, Photographed for First Time » [484 Views]
- Owl attacks prompt Dutch town to arm itself with umbrellas » [467 Views]
- Appeal to all birders and wildlife enthusiasts: add your name to the list in solidarity » [452 Views]
- Poll: Should koalas be culled in overpopulated areas to prevent starvation? » [442 Views]
Top-Viewed Posts Last 12 Months
- » POLL: Should the ban on fox hunting be relaxed in the UK? [10680 Views]
- Petition: Stop Lion Canned Hunting in South Africa – Shocking Video » [4230 Views]
- Komodo and its Dragons » [3773 Views]
- POLL: Should bear hunting be banned in the US? » [3574 Views]
- POLL: Should lion canned hunting be banned in South Africa? » [3547 Views]
- POLL: Should the slaughter of wolves in British Columbia be banned? » [2926 Views]
- Poll: Should hunting of black bears in Florida be allowed? » [2886 Views]
- Join the 1st World Giraffe Day and help save these gentle giants » [2820 Views]
- POLL: Should the trophy hunting of giraffes be banned? » [2647 Views]
- POLL: Should the wolf hunting contest in Idaho be stopped? » [2645 Views]