Environment Minister Aaron Farrugia has reacted to the shocking shooting of four greater flamingos at Qawra Point by declaring the entire area a hunting-free zone.
“The shocking news that four flamingos were killed by an alleged shooter has been condemned by everyone – from families to environmental NGOs and the hunting community,” Farrugia said this morning.
The minister said that beyond words of condemnation and justice eventually taking its course against the alleged poacher, immediate action needs to be taken.
He therefore declared Qawra Point to be a no-hunting zone, with the area given to BirdLife Malta to manage in a ‘guardianship deed’ that will be signed in the coming weeks.
BirdLife Malta hailed the minister’s decision, stating they’re happy that “common sense has prevailed”.
“It is a pity that another four highly-protected greater flamingoes had to be killed for this decision to be taken, but we welcome the news that finally no more hunting will be allowed at Qawra Point, something we have been insisting on for quite a number of years,” the NGO said.
“Now that hunting will be banned in the area, BirdLife Malta looks forward to the signing of the guardianship deed to manage the site.”
Yesterday, 23-year-old Miguel Zammit was charged with the shooting of four flamingos. He is pleading not guilty but was remanded in custody after his request for bail was denied.
Hunting lobby group FKNK reacted strongly to the news, warning that “there is no longer room for such criminals in the heart of a civilised society, and certainly not within the hunting community”.
Cover photo: Left: Aaron Farrugia (Photo: Facebook), Right: Qawra Point (Photo: BirdLife Malta), Inset: (Stock photo)
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