More protected birds shot, BirdLife Malta reiterates call for suspension of hunting season

September 17, 2016 4:30 pm

Stevie Haston at the Victoria police station with the dead Honey Buzzard (Photo by Stevie Haston)

Reports confirmed to BirdLife Malta by the Gozo Police indicate that another three Honey Buzzards (Kuċċarda) were seen being shot in Gozo in the last hours. The birds landed in the sea and one of them was retrieved by a professional rock climber and snorkeler who took the bird to the police and was interrogated to get all the facts. Later on, the British-Maltese snorkeler posted his story online on his personal blog and also claimed he nearly got killed by illegal hunters in Gozo (see link below).

BirdLife Malta remains adamant that this rampant illegal killing will keep going on unless the Government takes immediate action today.

Once again we are calling on the Prime Minister to suspend the hunting season till the 15th of October. This is the only way the limited enforcement efforts can give some results.


The dead Honey Buzzard (Kuċċarda) shot in Gozo

It would be surprising to know that the Government does not think this is alarming and we expect the Government to take the bold decision rather than pass the buck to the Ornis Committee. The law clearly states that the Government can decide to suspend the hunting season in critical conditions. This is far beyond critical following the 19th shot protected bird.

We have already seen 7 Honey Buzzards and 2 Black Storks amongst these protected birds which have been shot and yet the Government decides to remain silent. This is unacceptable and our demands remain consistent – for the Government to suspend the season with immediate effect. We hope the Government has the courage to do what is right.

Read the Maltese version of the press release here.

Click here to read the blog by British-Maltese snorkeler Stevie Haston posted online yesterday together with the pictures of the Honey Buzzard he handed over to the Gozo Police.