Law and order in Malta’s countryside inexistent, BirdLife Malta calls on Prime Minister to place environment as a priority

December 13, 2017 9:10 am

As Malta’s largest environmental NGO, BirdLife Malta today states that there is a breakdown in the enforcement of environmental laws resulting in irreparable damage to the natural environment.

BirdLife Malta notes Prime Minister Joseph Muscat’s speech last Sunday 10th December on the need for law and order. It is clear that the Prime Minister wishes to improve law and order but he fails to see the urgent need to enforce environmental laws.

A Short-eared Owl, another protected species which was illegally shot during this year’s autumn hunting season (Photo by BirdLife Malta)

BirdLife Malta CEO Mark Sultana states: “It is disheartening to see the Government place environment at the bottom of its priorities. As things stand, there is no enforcement in Malta’s countryside. If we are to talk of law and order, then we should be aware that today the number of infringements occurring in the environment sector are too numerous to ignore.

To start with, one must mention the illegal occupation of land by trappers, land that is both public and private. Secondly, there is the widespread use of illegal artificial means of capture and thirdly the killing of protected species.”

BirdLife Malta insists on stopping these illegalities, with the police practically not taking any action and the Wild Birds Regulation Unit (WBRU) sitting on its laurels only interested in defending the status quo.

“Birdlife Malta has been patient and cooperative with Government but the Prime Minister should be aware that there are thousands of Maltese people of different political beliefs that share one common belief that nature protection is seriously lacking and it is not a priority for Government or the Opposition,” said Mark Sultana.

“We have regressed when it comes to enforcing environmental laws, we welcome calls for law and order, but they should be extended to the environmental sector as well and considered a priority.”

Read the Maltese version of the press release here.

An illegally shot protected Mediterranean Gull recovered from Salina on 27th November, one of the latest victims of the autumn hunting season. (Photo by BirdLife Malta)

Aerial picture showing trapping sites on the cliffs at Ta’ Ċenċ. (Photo by Paulo Lago Barreiro)

A protected Meadow Pipit trapped in an unattended clap net at Ta’ Ċenċ found on 10th December. (Photo by Nadja Tschovikov)