In a Facebook post that surfaced yesterday, it was reported that a number of ducks at Salina were dying due to the fact that their water source was fermenting in the heat.
It was alleged that as many as 240 ducks and a number of birds have died in less than a month because of this.
According to Times of Malta, the Cleansing Department collected at least 20 dead ducks today alone. Veterinary services are allegedly launching an investigation into the ducks’ cause of death.
According to the Facebook post, Animal Welfare is aware of the contaminated water, which has been an issue for a long time, and has attempted to fix the situation.
This time however, it is the ducks that have fallen victim to the contaminated water.
A number of commenters were calling out local NGO BirdLife Malta about this, due to the fact that the location where this is taking place is close to the Salina Nature Reserve, which is managed by the aforementioned NGO.
Nonetheless, BirdLife Malta took to Facebook earlier today to confirm that the ducks in question do not in fact make part of the Salina Nature Reserve, and the land and sea water canal there is not being managed by them.
“These are domestic ducks and are not to be mistaken for wild birds, including other migrating ducks,” BirdLife said. “Moreover, this activity is having a negative effect on the biodiversity of the area which is a protected #Natura2000 site.”
BirdLife went on to say that they have called upon the relevant authorities to carry out tests on the site in question, however they are not yet aware of the conclusions of such tests.
They have also reportedly contacted the Animal Welfare Department to place the birds in a better-suited habitat.
“It is now up to the relevant authorities to take action in this regard, with the only plausible solution being that these ducks are relocated as suggested by the Environment and Resources Authority (ERA) two years ago, when the authority ordered that the site be returned to its natural state.”
BirdLife Malta CEO Mark Sultana has since made a statement condemning the relevant authorities’ inaction.
“We have been informing the authorities that these farmed ducks are alien to this site of high ecological importance and that being farmed without any control was detrimental to the biodiversity of the area but also for the same ducks.”
BirdLife Malta has also reportedly communicated with the top Public Health officials, saying that “the situation could get out of hand id no action is taken as soon as possible.”
Sultana concluded by saying “The sick ducks need to be isolated in order to safeguard all.”
Animal Welfare have not yet commented about this issue.