Quantcast
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.

Leave a Comment

  • Martindparr

    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!

Top-Viewed Posts Last 30 Days

  1. Join the 1st World Giraffe Day and help save these gentle giants » [783 Views]
  2. Shot Egyptian vulture leads conservationists to bizarre black-market for bird parts » [603 Views]
  3. Cuckoos’ shameless egg-laying tactics revealed » [459 Views]
  4. Japan kills 30 minke whales in first hunt since UN court order » [441 Views]
  5. POLL: Should the Slaughter of Grouse be allowed to continue? » [430 Views]
  6. Albatross Internet Darling Takes First Flight » [366 Views]
  7. Elachuridae: Ornithologists Describe New Family of Passerine Birds » [349 Views]
  8. Software can decode bird songs » [316 Views]
  9. Threatened Species ‘Red List’ Warns 90 Percent of Lemur Species Face Extinction » [315 Views]
  10. Video: Polar Bear Cam Provides Unique View into Arctic Life » [314 Views]

Top-Viewed Posts Last 12 Months

  1. POLL: Should the Slaughter of Grouse be allowed to continue? » [33741 Views]
  2. POLL: Should bear hunting be banned in the US? » [27995 Views]
  3. Massive Bird Slaughter Around the Mediterranean – Shocking Photos » [12169 Views]
  4. POLL: Should China’s shameful tiger farms be closed down? » [12097 Views]
  5. Petition: Stop Lion Canned Hunting in South Africa – Shocking Video » [9861 Views]
  6. POLL: Should the Faroe Islands’ whale slaughter be allowed to continue? » [7863 Views]
  7. POLL: Should the fox-hunting laws in the UK be relaxed? » [6999 Views]
  8. Trophy Hunting in Africa – Wildlife Slaughter in Graphic Images » [5526 Views]
  9. POLL: Should the Dolphin Slaughter in Taiji Cove be stopped? » [5269 Views]
  10. Wildlife Photography – Ethics and Conservation Issues? » [5096 Views]