Maltese hunters start annual autumn massacre - Where are the police?04/09/2012 13:19:00 Illegal hunters take advantage of lax enforcement on first days of hunting season
September 2012. BirdLife Malta today announced that there were no ALE units patrolling the countryside on the opening weekend of Malta's autumn hunting season, and the organization has already started receiving shot protected birds.
BirdLife Malta received an adult Night Heron and a juvenile Bee-eater, both protected species, on Saturday, the first day of the autumn hunting season. A veterinary surgeon confirmed that both protected birds had sustained gunshot wounds.
This morning BirdLife Malta received the third injured protected bird since the start of the season, a juvenile Marsh Harrier, with visible gunshot injuries. The bird has been taken to vet and the authorities have been informed.
Despite a government statement last week that police would "monitor closely the observance of hunting regulations and conditions", Administrative Law Enforcement officers were assigned to other duties.
Since the migration started in August, BirdLife Malta has reported 18 active illegal trapping sites to police, targeting protected species from Wood Sandpipers to Grey Herons. Half of these illegal trapping sites had already been reported to the police last year.