Voting against spring hunting will return Mizieb to the birds & people – SHout

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Voting against spring hunting will return Mizieb to the birds & people - SHoutSHout – Spring Hunting Out campaign spokesperson Mark Sultana and campaign ambassador Fabio Spiteri, triathlete and coach, today erected signs in Mizieb Woodland, Malta, to reclaim it for birds after many years of being, what they describe as “a killing field for hunters.”

The campaigners said that a ‘no’ vote in the referendum would see the hunters’ woodland, part of which is designated as a nature reserve, “transformed from a bird cemetery into a tranquil area for breeding birds and the public to enjoy in spring.”Voting against spring hunting will return Mizieb to the birds & people - SHoutMark Sultana said, “Mizieb woodland is publicly owned land which should be free for everyone to enjoy. Instead it is occupied by hunters in spring who shoot at all kinds of birds under the cover of these trees.”

He stated that the “hunters’ association was given access to hunt in the woodland in the run up to the 1986 general election and have occupied it since, despite there being no known formal agreement or management plan in place for their continued use of the land.”

“Mizieb is a notorious illegal hunting black spot where volunteers have found hundreds of carcasses of illegally shot birds stashed under rocks by hunters.”

Mark added, “after last year’s hunting season, volunteers found the remains of rare and protected birds hidden under rocks including Marsh Harriers and beautiful Hoopoes, both of which are signs of spring in Malta.”

“The impact of such illegal killing in spring is doubly damaging, as these birds are on their way to breed,” he continued. “Banning spring hunting will not only protect turtle dove and quail, but also many rare and protected birds passing over Malta, allowing them all to breed.”

“In 2009, volunteers discovered the carcasses of over 200 protected birds in Mizieb, hidden under rocks, stuffed in crevices and inside old barrels, in what remains the largest wildlife crime scene in Maltese history,” said Mark

SHout ambassador Fabio Spiteri said, “the discovery of hundreds of shot birds discarded in a woodland that is overseen by the hunters’ own organisation shows that hunters are not interested in any tradition of hunting for food. It is time for us to come together and return this area from a bird cemetery to a living woodland by voting ‘no’ on 11 April.”

“Mizieb is important for birds because it is one of the few wooded areas in Malta where exhausted birds can rest on their long journey north from Africa and mainland Europe,Fabio said. “It also has strong potential as a breeding site for many different species.”

Fabio Spiteri concluded, “Mizieb should be a safe haven where birds can rest on their migration. Sadly, many birds that try to rest here are killed by hunters, senselessly dumped under rocks and left to rot. Proof that spring never comes for the hunted.”

Photos by Caroline Rance: Mark Sultana and Fabio Spiteri address the media in Mizieb and Shout campaigners leave their sign.

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    1 Response

    1. george palmer says:

      Keep up the pressure boys and girls. Shout until the last possible moment. Not a second must be wasted in ridding us of the Spring hunters scourge.

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