Five protected birds were illegally gunned down over a single day, Birdlife Malta have revealed.
On 21st September, a collared dove, a honey-buzzard, two marsh harriers, and a bee-eater were shot down across a number of localities in Malta. One marsh harrier, shot along Victoria Lines, died because of its wounds.
Birdlife Malta described 2020 as one of the worst years for illegal hunting. Up until 22nd September, the NGO had retrieved 139 protected birds who were shot by hunters.
“When the Wild Birds Regulation Unit (WBRU) took over the enforcement of bird protection laws from the Environment & Resources Authority (ERA), enforcement deteriorated to being non-existent.
To add insult to injury, last January Prime Minister Robert Abela moved WBRU – which is run by hunters and trappers – under the Minister of Gozo Clint Camilleri; a well-known pro-hunter and trapper. Malta has never experienced a government so much in favour of hunting and trapping,” BirdLife Malta CEO Mark Sultana said.
BirdLife Malta is calling on Prime Minister Robert Abela to boost the heavily under-resourced EPU police unit with immediate effect and to remove bird protection enforcement from a “weakened and biased” WBRU and transfer this remit to ERA.
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