Yesterday afternoon, a spoonbill ringed as a chick in Hungary,
was shot dead by poachers driving past the Salini Bird Reserve, and its body
collected by a car following behind.
The shooting broke a number of national and EU laws: spoonbills
are protected birds under national and EU law, it is currently closed season,
no hunting may take place within Bird Sanctuaries, and no shooting may take
place within 50 metres of a main road.
The road running alongside the site of the shooting is very
busy, and the area is overlooked by a number of blocks of flats. BirdLife are
appealing for witnesses to help bring the poachers to justice.
Events like this increase during migration season. Join
Raptor Camp this autumn - 14th September - 2nd October to help us monitor and
deter these illegal incidents.
How totally sickening. I just cannot comprehend how killing a beautiful and innocent creature can give people pleasure.
My thoughts are not suitable for airing on a public forum...
Agree with MarJus!
Malta is just the pits! OK it's not everyone though a huge number of the population seem to take pot-shots at anything that moves. What really makes me sick is that the government just don't seem to be bothered to enforce their own laws and so people get away with it.
I would find it hard to get to the camp but can't we campaign to get everybody involved in taking tourists to Malta to at least inform their passengers etc. of the situation and at best to urge the Maltese government to get off their backsides? If they thought their tourism economy was going to suffer I bet they would take notice - and action!
Just realised that it was Bird Life Malta that started this thread. Come on chaps. You've got a community of people willing to campaign and email politicians etc. about threats to wildlife so why not give us the names and email addresses of the best people to contact with our views?
We are right behind you with this problem as it is OUR birds that are getting the chop when migrating. Let's do it properly
Apologies for the delayed reply, it seems our thread subscription is not working properly so I have only just seen your reply.
BirdLife Malta encourages people to get in touch with decision makers to make their views about what happens in Malta heard.
You can write to Commissioner Potocnik, the Environmental Commissioner of the EU, regarding the ongoing illegal hunting in Malta.
Other important people to write to include your MEPs, to raise questions in Parliament, and to the Maltese Office of the Prime Minister.
For any letter, it is important to stress that despite the fact that shooting protected birds and other similar activities are illegal, they are still ongoing and more needs to be done to end illegal hunting. For example, there is not enough enforcement on the ground and penalties for those caught are not enough.
There is some good news from Malta - in May poachers shot and killed a number of White Storks that were passing over the islands. On Wednesday two of these shooters were sentenced to time in jail, given large fines and banned from having hunting licences for the rest of their lives.
Thank you everyone for your support.
Hi Birdlife Malta
Thanks so much for your helpful reply. I am going to start writing letters today and will include your suggestions. I will try also to get some friends to write or at least sign my letters too.
I am so glad that some of the guys who shot the storks have been found. This is what needs to happen.
I am sympathetic to subsistence hunting and even can tolerate the "It's our traditional lifestyle" argument in some cases, but this sort of needless target practice is so upsetting. It is wrong simply on the basis of cruelty but I also fear for the people who give so little thought to animals and birds. They are so close to inflicting the same violence on their fellow humans.
We need to educate children from a very early age to respect and value all living creatures. By doing this we help them to respect and value themselves.
I wonder what is being done in Malta's schools to make the children feel excitement in the natural world and an understanding of the need to conserve our environment. Since so many of Europe's birds use the island as a staging post in their amazing migrations, Malta's children are in a very priviledged position and must learn what an important role they have to play in caring for not just their environment but much of the birdlife that is so dear to their cousins and friends across Europe and Africa.
Good luck with all you are doing!
Just picked up on the Raptor Politics web site that 2 men have been jailed and fined for persecuting White Storks in Malta.They were also banned from holding firearm and hunting licences and their firearms confiscated.Agood result for Birdlife Malta,just a pity it had to come to that.This sort of punishment should act as a deterent maybe the UK shoild take note.
While looking through some birding stuff on You Tube (I must get out more) I hit on some interesting clips of the Birdlife Malta's work,one called "birds bins and bullets"was very interesting well worth looking if you are interested in this problem.