Casualties of Spring hunting on Malta

These images are all of birds shot, illegally, on Malta this spring.

Bee-eater  Photo: BirdLife Malta
Bee-eater Photo: BirdLife Malta


Cory's Shearwater Photo: Birdlife Malta
Cory’s Shearwater Photo: Birdlife Malta


Hobby Photo: BirdLife Malta
Hobby Photo: BirdLife Malta


Stone Curlew Photo: BirdLife Malta
Stone Curlew Photo: BirdLife Malta


Kestrel Photo: BirdLife Malta
Kestrel Photo: BirdLife Malta


Yellow-legged Gull Photo: BirdLife Malta
Yellow-legged Gull Photo: BirdLife Malta



8 Replies to “Casualties of Spring hunting on Malta”

  1. Am I right in thinking that under the derogation they are actually only permitted to shoot turtle doves and quail? If so the maltese government, as a minimum, are needing to introduce an eye test as part of their gun licencing regime.

      1. Roderick Galdes (Maltese Parliamentary Secretary for Agri. Fisheries & Animal Rights) informs us all that “offenders illegally targeting protected birds may face financial fines of up to 15,000 Euro, confiscation, permenant revocation of relevant licences, imprisionment of up to 3 years and possibility of mandatory community service”.

        I’ve written asking: Can we therefore ask how much revenue has been received in fines since let’s say 2009? Likewise how many licenses have been revocated and people imprisoned in the same period?

        I’ll let you know if and when I receive an answer, mmmmh ….

        Our series of correspondence can be viewed via a dedicated page as well as updates posted on the blog (link above).

        Keep up the pressure campaigners and then let’s see if the momentum is transferable to the UK ‘Hen Harrier’ variation, perhaps even in parallel?

  2. those people are sub-human and beneath contempt. please tell me some of those birds at least weren’t dead…

    1. ‘Those people are sub-human…..’ now where have I heard that before…..’untermensch’ anyone?

      1. I presume Songbird Survival is opposed to the shooting of birds during spring migration through Malta, Keith?

        1. Absolutely, and trapping in Cyprus and other Mediterranean-bordering countries, not all of whom are EU members. ‘Finch’ trapping also took place (and possibly still takes place) in UK.

          For example, my father and I once came across a couple of cages with bullfinches being used as lures in a small mixed wood in Aberdeenshire, back in the late 1960s. The bullfinches were released and the cages duly rendered unusable…….. This was in the days before WCOs, wildlife crime hotlines etc and when reputable universities such as Aberdeen used to practise and condone clam-net trapping of incubating oystercatchers! Direct action was the order of the day.

  3. In addition to MEPs and to the Maltese authorities it may be worth writing to major travel operators to raise concerns about this issue. Both TUI Group (owner of the Thomson and First Choice brands, amongst others) and Thomas Cook Group make strong claims about their commitment to sustainability. TUI claim that 82% of customers surveyed expect holiday providers to take the environmental and social impact of their holidays seriously whilst Thomas Cook, in its Sustainability report for 2013, identifies ‘conservation of natural assets and biodiversity’ as an important ‘sustainability risk’ to the company.

    In the light of these commitments, and of the influence of these companies as major contributors to Malta’s economy, it seems reasonable to ask them what their position is on the shooting of birds in Malta and what steps if any they are taking (or propose to take) to influence a change in Maltese hunting laws and practices.

    The companies can be contacted at:

    Ms Harriet Green, CEO, Thomas Cook Group PLC, 3rd Floor, South Building, 200 Aldersgate, London EC1A 4HD

    Mr Peter Long, Chief Executive, TUI Travel House, Crawley Business Quarter, Fleming Way, Crawley, West Sussex, RH10 9QL.

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