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Updated: Man found illegally exporting songbirds

A Libyan man was condemned to a six month jail term suspended for a year after he admitted today to animal cruelty when he tried to export 157 song birds from Malta to Libya.

The case happened early this morning.

Ben Mohamed Salim, 33, was arrested at the airport after the birds were found crammed in 10 small boxes in luggage. The birds were carefully hidden under frozen organic material such as pet food which calmed the birds, but they were discovered by MIA security staff.

Two of the birds died but the rest survived.

Magistrate Myriam Hayman also fined the accused €233 and recommended that the birds should be handed to an animal sanctuary such as Razett tal-Hbiberija.

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