Turtle Doves bred in captivity should have a closed ring.
BirdLife Malta agrees with the Committee Against Bird Slaughter (CABS) that the only way to determine between Turtle Doves bred in captivity and those trapped from the wild illegally is to amend the law to have breeders place closed rings on the young.
There is no doubt that a substantial amount of persons trap Turtle Doves from the wild with large cages. Although this is illegal every year a number of these cages are found in various areas in Malta and Gozo.
Since this bird is also a huntable species in autumn, the law does not punish anyone found in possession of live Turtle Doves. Those trapping hundreds, if not thousands, of this vulnerable species are using this legal loophole and the only way to control this abuse is by changing the law accordingly. This would also distinguish between the genuine Turtle Dove breeders and the illegal trappers.
BirdLife Malta urges hunting lobby groups FKNK (Federation for Hunting and Conservation) and KSU (Kaċċaturi San Ubertu) to understand that this would benefit their genuine members and that the only ones that would complain would be those trapping Turtle Doves illegally. We also urge the Government to address this situation.
Read the Maltese version of the press release here.