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International Animal Rescue Saving animals from suffering around the world

Rampant bird shooting in Malta

Honey buzzardsFollowing the recent severe torrential rains which fell on the Maltese islands during which the countryside suffered a setback, another natural disaster took place when hundreds of birds of various species where slaughtered by hundreds of irresponsible shooters roaming the countryside.

While the sudden change in weather should have been favourable to the thousands of migratory birds, it proved fatal to hundreds of them. The species which suffered most were honey buzzards and marsh harriers followed by egrets and herons.

Recently, International Animal Rescue started receiving reports of injured birds found in the countryside and on the shoreline. More than twenty birds were collected in total: nine honey buzzards, two marsh harriers, one pallid harrier, a kestrel, a hobby a med. Gull, moorhen, two egrets and a heron. The birds came from various parts of the island but the majority were from the south of Malta and Mosta/Bugibba area. One injured honey buzzard sought refuge in one of the hotel rooms in Qawra. A number of others were found in private gardens and in the countryside.

We would like to thank the Administrative Law Enforcement police, the Civil Protection, Nature Trust, and Birdlife Malta for their help in collecting the birds. Our staff had to work many late nights to care for the birds in our centre. International Animal Rescue condemns this slaughter and hope that the culprits will be taken to court and brought to justice.

This is the second such disaster to occur since then Malta Government and the EU signed the accession treaty.

IAR (Malta), working closely with the ALE Police, are convinced that they are doing their duty but require the Government’s backing in enforcing the law. There is little use for the Ornis and MEPA lists of protected species unless the law is enforced. The authorities concerned need to start to taking measures against those who are irresponsible.