BirdLife Malta today welcomed the closure of the spring hunting season by the Prime Minister following an injured shot kestrel landed in the grounds of St Edward’s College in Cottonera.
The season was due to end on Thursday 30th April and has been curtailed by three days. BirdLife Malta Conservation Manager Nicholas Barbara said, “The closure follows a series of recorded incidents involving illegal shooting of birds beginning with the shooting of a cuckoo on the second day of the season.”
The kestrel involved in today’s incident appears to have suffered shotgun injuries which resulted in severe bleeding through its eye. Mr Barbara added, “We welcome the decision of the Prime Minister to close the season following this latest dramatic incident. This decision means that many other birds should safely pass through Malta in the next few days, but we are sorry that young children had to see such a magnificent bird in such a terrible state. “
Reacting to a comment by an ‘Iva’ referendum campaign activist and an FKNK representative that collective punishment was not fair, Mr Barbara said, “Nearly 50% of Maltese voters have made it absolutely clear that they condemn spring hunting. In reaction to this, the Prime Minister has made it clear that the hunting community is on its last chance. His decision to close the season today is a sign that he is serious about this.”