Eight illegal bird trapping sites have been exposed by the Committee Against Bird Slaughter (CABS), a German NGO working toward ending bird poaching.
Finch trapping in Malta was declared illegal by the European Court of Justice back in 2018, following a declaration that Malta had failed to fulfil its obligations under the European Wild Birds Directive.
CABS released a number of pictures showing artificial ponds surrounded by large clap-nets. These sites are shown to be equipped with plastic decoy birds used to lure and trap protected curlews, sandpipers, and other wading birds.
The sites were spotted by the organisation during an aerial survey conducted last week, CABS said.
The sites in questions were spotted in the fields between Rabat and Dingli, the Misraħ Strejnu area, St Thomas Bay, and near the Xrobb l-Għaġin nature park in Delimara.
Only last week, a flamingo was found dead in Delimara after reports of a gunshot.
CABS reported that four of the reported sites were found active and reported to the police on three other occasions – in July 2019, August 2018, and August 2017.
“The fact that in all these years, despite numerous reports and overwhelming evidence provided by CABS, the police have not been able to stop the poachers operating these notorious sites, is a damning indictment of the state of law enforcement in Malta,” CABs press officer Axel Hirschfeld said.
“The lack of appropriate enforcement action is so evident that it is hard to believe that is is solely caused by the lack of resources or ability.”
CABS concluded by saying that organisation members and Malta-based staff will continue to monitor bird migration and report hunting and trapping offences on our shores until November.