BirdLife demands Government takes action over illegal shooting

BirdLife demands Government takes action over illegal shooting

BirdLife Malta is demanding clear action to be taken by the Government to show a “zero tolerance stance on illegal killing of protected birds,” following the “confirmed shooting” of seven White Storks.

In a statement in reaction to the latest news of further White Storks being shot dead yesterday evening at Maghtab, BirdLife Malta said that it expects the Government action to demonstrate that it will “not tolerate these atrocities anymore, especially now that it is clear that the hunting lobby has lost control of its members.”

BirdLife said that 18 White Storks migrated over Malta and last Friday four of them were witnessed being shot down.

“In contrast to the outcry from the general public, the hunting lobby led by FKNK (federation for hunters, trappers and conservationists) issued a statement in which it blamed the European Commission and the European Court of Justice for these illegalities, hinting that this is what can be expected when their lobby doesn’t get what they want,” said BirdLife Malta.

“They were clearly referring to the latest ECJ verdict on the finch trapping derogation that practically meant the end of finch trapping in Malta. Following this position, a further three White Storks were shot dead yesterday evening in Maghtab,” said BLM.

It added that today the flock has been decimated to six individuals from the original 18 and although seven have been witnessed shot, “there is very little doubt that the five missing ones have most probably met the same fate.”

BirdLife Malta thanked the Police and the public, for joining the organisation’s outcry and have assisted police by calling, filming and reporting incidents. “It is thanks this help that two persons are now being questioned, one of which has already been taken to court and denied bail,” said BLM.

Mark Sultana CEO of BirdLife Malta said, “the general public’s outcry on these atrocities are a clear message and a call for action by our Government. The Prime Minister should realise that the vast majority of the Maltese and Gozitans want to see better bird protection and more environmentally-friendly measures.”

Sultana concluded by saying, “he has to listen to these calls and stop the country being held hostage by a hunting lobby who tolerates illegalities. On behalf of BirdLife Malta, I wanted to thank all those who have shown their clear position on the matter. The general public is what gives us the most hope for improvement, but the ball lies solely with the Government now.”

Photos of shot stork by Alice Tribe, BirdLife Malta.

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