BirdLife Malta says that 4 protected birds have been killed days before spring hunting season opens
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BirdLife Malta said that over the weekend it received reports that four protected birds were killed.
In a statement, BirdLife Malta said that to date, since the last hunting season was closed, BirdLife Malta and the Police have already received reports that 21 protected birds have ended up as targets of illegal hunting. They were all killed while the season was closed, with the latest being two common kestrels, a lesser kestrel and a barn swallow – which were all shot down last weekend.
It explained that this video includes footage of hunters shooting at a protected purple heron in the area of a Xrobb l-Għaġin last Sunday.
It added that opening the spring hunting season at this delicate moment in time was unfair on the Maltese and Gozitan population which is currently united in its fight agains the pandemic COVID-19. It added that spring hunting goes against the EU Bird Directive for the simple reason that birds are migrating towards places where they can be protected and not killed.
BirdLife Malta said that the COVID-19 situation has placed the Police Force under pressure and one doubts whether the Government at this time can dedicatee the necessary number of enforcement officials to control spring hunting as required by law.
It said that the season, which will open tomorrow and remain open until 30 April, was designed as a way to serve as a smokescreen so that hunters can still shoot at the protected turtledove, along with a number of other protected birds.
It appealed to the public to report any illegality it comes across by phoning the police on 119 or Birdlife on 7925 5697.