While the statements issued yesterday by the Nationalist Party and the Ministry for the Environment, Sustainable Development and Climate Change both insisted on better police enforcement of the bird protection laws, BirdLife Malta remained baffled by the one-sentence statement issued by the latter, in which the Ministry for the Environment showed more concern about the reputation of ‘responsible hunters’ than anything else.
BirdLife Malta reiterates that there is no genuine political will from the Government to control hunting whatsoever with illegalities happening in all corners of the island with every opportunity. BirdLife Malta believes it is high time the Government stops pampering the hunting lobby and rather than showing concern about what hunters are causing to themselves when they shoot protected birds, it should be preoccupied about the fact that schoolchildren visiting nature reserves in the days to come will not be able to see these beautiful birds as they were shot.
It is also high time that the Government shows the hunting lobby that the privilege of going out with loaded shotguns in our countryside should not be taken for granted. We expect enforcement of laws so that the general public can enjoy wildlife alive and well, not because illegal hunting is damaging the reputation of hunters. In reality it is the reputation of Malta, an EU member state, that is being tarnished.
In the meantime, the two injured protected birds retrieved this morning – a Honey Buzzard recovered from Buskett and a Purple Heron collected from Manoel Island – were both confirmed shot by hunters upon examination by the vet. This means that the total of known illegally shot protected birds this autumn hunting season has now risen to 15.
Read the Maltese version of the press release here. You can also watch the footage from this morning’s retrieval of the Purple Heron at Manoel Island here.