Autumn hunting season should be delayed until mid-October – BLM

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Autumn hunting season should be delayed until mid-October - BLMA letter requesting that the start of the next hunting season is postponed to mid-October, has been sent to Prime Minister Joseph Muscat by BirdLife Malta’s Council.

BirdLife Malta officials explained in a press conference this afternoon, that only a delay to the start of the upcoming autumn hunting season would send out a clear message by the Government that “flagrant abuse and hunting illegalities such as the recent massacre of protected White Storks will not be tolerated any more.”

They said that the aim of the request is “to ensure protected birds migrating over Malta during the next six weeks do not meet the same fate as these storks.”

The next step would then be the setting up of a Wildlife Crime Unit, something which now enjoys the unanimous support of the Ornis Committee, the letter said.

“Although there is much more to be done, we insist that at least for now you accept these requests we are making so that we ensure l-aqwa zmien ta’ pajjizna also in terms of the protection of our natural environment,” the letter continues.

It added that “this is being requested so that protected birds such as birds of prey, herons and storks which will be migrating over Malta during the next six weeks, and seek refuge in our country, are met with adequate protection and less risk of ending up as casualties of illegal hunting.”

BirdLife Malta also released figures which show that 2018 could be the worst year for the illegal killing of protected birds. With 44 known shot protected birds already retrieved so far this year, last year’s five-year record could be surpassed by the end of December.

The NGO said that this request for a delay also found the support of another six eNGOs which are Flimkien Ghal Ambjent Ahjar, Friends of the Earth Malta, Nature Trust-FEE Malta, Din l-Art Helwa, fish4tomorrow and Sharklab-Malta.

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