Birdlife Malta have revealed that not a single hunter was prosecuted for the illegal killing of turtle doves (gamiem) during the 2018 spring hunting season.
This happened despite Birdlife Malta claiming they provided police with ‘concrete evidence of illegal hunting’, including a case involving a hunter’s lobby (FKNK) official that was filmed by the NGO.
‘This adds insult to injury on hunting seasons designed to be smokescreens for the illegal killing of the red-listed Turtle Dove,’ Birdlife said in a statement
The statement, which was released following yesterday’s Ornis Committee meeting on enforcement, also criticises the extension of this year’s hunting season.
This year’s season, BirdLife explain, is only meant to be open for quail (summien), however by extending to the end of April, it will overlap with the peak migration period of the turtle dove, a vulnerable species that is protected.
“In view of this we are once again calling on the public to report any illegalities and shall, in the coming days, remind everyone about the very evident distinctions between the Common Quail and the Turtle Dove through a series of videos on our social media describing the different characteristics of these two bird species,”BirdLife Malta said.
Last week, BirdLife Malta released a video of illegally shot birds that were found over the first weekend of spring. They are part of six birds in total that have been shot since March this year – even though the hunting season is closed.
This year’s spring hunting season will take place from 10th April to 30th April.