During an official event in Buskett Gardens today, BirdLife Malta took possession of Malta’s first centre to be dedicated to the rehabilitation of shot and injured birds. Parliamentary Secretary for Agriculture, Fisheries and Animal Rights, Roderick Galdes, formally handed over the building to BirdLife Malta. Speaking at the event, BirdLife Malta President Geoffrey Saliba, said “We welcome the government’s commitment to bird rehabilitation in Malta, recognising the need for a well-equipped centre to care for the many birds that are injured over our islands. Previously, birds requiring specialist care had to be sent to a rehabilitation centre in Sicily. Now, thanks to this centre, we will have the facilities required to carry out this important work here on Malta, allowing birds to rest and recover in the hands of professionals. This will greatly improve their chances of surviving to be released back into the wild. “We will be working hard over the coming months to try to ensure that this centre is fully-equipped and ready before the autumn migration season.” The building, a restored farmhouse in Buskett Gardens, was renovated by the government and provided rent-free to BirdLife Malta who will be running the facility. The bird rehabilitation centre will be run by trained staff and will house specially designed areas for injured birds to recover before being released back to the wild. There will also be a small visitor and education centre which will be open to the public. Annual costs for equipment, food and medicine are estimated at €30,000 per year, and BirdLife Malta welcomes donations to help with the rescue and rehabilitation of injured birds.