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International Animal Rescue Saving animals from suffering around the world

Local campaigns against illegal bird shooting

One of the many victims of illegal shootingFor the last seven years International Animal Rescue (Malta) has campaigned against the illegal shooting of birds in Malta. We organise lobbying against the massacres.

In the early nineties we campaigned to change the local laws and regulations. With the help of Birdlife (Malta) we campaigned for these legislations and managed to turn public opinion in our favour. As a result the government amended the laws and regulations bringing them in line with the EU Bird directives.

Following this victory we started to campaign in favour of law enforcement - which up to that time was insignificant. Hand in hand with the authorities we worked to overcome this national problem. Although the enforcement increased we are still of the opinion that much more has to be done in this field.

We consider that because bird shooting became one of the main election issues during the last five years, enforcement is becoming unacceptable. In 1993 International Animal Rescue awarded the Administrative Law Enforcement (ALE) section of the Malta Police an International award for their services which were being rendered for the environment. At that time the small unit forming the ALE was very effective and they managed to bring hundreds of hunters before the courts of justices for their illegal activity.

On one occasion they managed to confiscate more than 2000 protected birds in the possession of a single taxidermist who was operating without a licence. Other smaller quantities of birds were found in the possession of illegal taxidermists. It was only when the politicians started to hunt for votes that law enforcement collapsed, and the shooters increased their illegal activity.

IAR Malta will never stop campaigning on behalf of the birds. We are using all possible means including the media and Television. We inform the general public about the illegalities that take place during the migratory seasons. IAR Malta also pass information to other international groups regarding the local situation and also lobby in the international field.