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More than 400 incidents of illegal hunting reported since September 16 - BirdLife

A common kestrel, marsh harrier and honey buzzard, all juveniles, all shot, received by BirdLife Malta on September 26. Photo: Luke Massey, BirdLife

A common kestrel, marsh harrier and honey buzzard, all juveniles, all shot, received by BirdLife Malta on September 26. Photo: Luke Massey, BirdLife

The Birdlife Raptor Camp has reported 436 incidents of illegal hunting between September 16 and yesterday.

BirdLife president Joseph Mangion said that 224 of these were hunting incidents that took place after the legal deadline, which is 3 p.m. on weekdays or 1 p.m. on Sundays.

The incidents are all recorded by BirdLife volunteers and people who took part in the Raptor Camp, which ends tomorrow.

The volunteers found that 223 protected birds were victim to illegal hunting incidents.

Of these 119 were shot at, 28 were recovered by BirdLife and Cabs and 76 were seen flying with gunshot injuries.

Mr Mangion said it was unacceptable that hunters were given the chance to trap more birds when a proper enforcement system against illegal hunting was lacking.

He said that while the presence of police in the countryside had increased, it was still not enough to keep up with the 10,000 registered hunters who took advantage of the season.

The volunteers also recorded 127 incidents where illegal electronic lures were used and two incidents of hunting in bird sanctuaries or places where hunting was not allowed.

Mr Mangion said BirdLife received 23 injured protected birds this month, a 40 per cent increase on last year. This, he said, was just the tip of the iceberg because there might be other incidents BirdLife would not know about.

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