This weekend, BirdLife Malta and the Committee Against Bird Slaughter (CABS) released the initial results of their survey regarding this year’s spring hunting period in Malta. Both organizations held conservation camps during the hunting season in which they monitored the amount of illegal hunting activities. The main goal was to measure the number of protected birds shot at their respective camps. The violations recorded are astounding, including:
- Nearly 950 shots outside hunting hours
- 61 protected birds being shot at
- 52 protected birds with gunshot injuries in flight
According to the report:
“The results confirm that this years open hunting season resulted in a dramatic increase in the illegal shooting of protected birds.
More protected birds were seen shot at, and more shot protected birds were received by BirdLife Malta alone, than during the same periods of the past three years combined, when the hunting season was either closed or boycotted.
The organisations also recorded other illegalities such as the use of cage traps, shotguns capable of firing more than three rounds, and hunters not wearing the obligatory armband. BirdLife Malta recorded illegalities in 89% of locations visited.”
As said by the announcement, this data is only that which was gathered by the camp participants. They state that reports by local members and members of the public will be analyzed in the future.
The Committee Against Bird Slaughter intervenes where bird trappers, hunters or animal traders commit offences against current nature protection legislation in Europe. They work with local conservationists and the police in bringing poachers to justice. In addition, the organization lobbies with authorities in several countries, as well as conducts research to expose illegal dealings. To read more about the Committee Against Bird Slaughter, visit their website here.
BirdLife Malta is an organization that strives to conserve wild birds and their habitats. They monitor activity that threatens wild birds, such as illegal hunting and trapping and urban development in conservation areas on the Maltese islands. More information about BirdLife Malta can be found here.
The two organizations are planning to present a joint report on the illegalities observed during this open hunting season to the European Commission in the coming weeks.
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Sources: Committee Against Bird Slaughter, BirdLife Malta