Birdlife Malta has taken to social media to condemn the shooting down of five protected birds in the last 24 hours.
Out of the five, one, a protected common kestrel, was found dead by volunteers of CABS (Committee Against Bird Slaughter) in Qrendi. In addition, a lesser kestrel, a purple heron, a black-crowned night heron and a marsh harrier were all found injured in various locations across the island.
In their statement the environmentalist group said it had rescued more illegally shot birds this year than it had collected in the last eight years, with the total number of bird casualities adding up to 152 in 2020.
Birdlife also said that this number only reflects a small fraction of the birds which were illegally shot down, adding that many other bird casualties are naturally unaccounted for by hunters.
A total of 618 birds were picked up by activists since 2013, 70% of which were found over the last four years.
BirdLife Chief Executive Mark Sultana criticised the government for allowing Minister Clint Camilleri, a registered hunter, to oversee the implementation of laws which should safeguard birds.
“Laws which were originally put into place for protection of bird species have over time evolved to protect hunters and bird trappers.”
Sultana concluded by appealing to Prime Minister Robert Abela and the Commissioner of Police for more rigorous enforcement during the autumn hunting season.