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Press release 15 September 2016

CABS film poachers killing protected Honey Buzzards
Stuffed protected birds and illegal cage traps found in Tal Virtu and Hal-Far

Shooting down of a Honey buzzard at Tal Virtu on 14.09.2016Shooting down of a Honey buzzard at Tal Virtu on 14.09.2016Malta. In the last 24 hours volunteers of the Committee Against Bird Slaughter (CABS) observed and filmed numerous cases of poaching in the Buskett area and in Hal-Far. The incidents included four cases of illegal shooting of protected birds, two cases of illegal trapping as well as the discovery of four dead protected birds. Yesterday (14.9.2016) evening a CABS team escorted a flock of Honey Buzzards flying towards the roost in Buskett Gardens. At 7:21pm a poacher in the Tal-Virtu area shot down two of the birds. One incident was recorded on video. The police were called and arrived at around 8pm. After watching the video the officers searched the area but were not able to make an arrest.

“After the incident we decided to monitor thís area more closely. This morning (15.9.16) we went there with two teams and filmed another Honey Buzzard being killed at around 6.45 am”, CABS spokesperson Axel Hirschfeld reports. The police needed about an hour to arrive and began searching the area at around 8:30am. The outcome of the search is not known yet. CABS added that it has provided the police with video footage which shows the face of a person hunting the area where the bird fell down.

The videos have been uploaded on YouTube and can be watched here: https://youtu.be/JvAf_hAfgCs

Cagetrap at Tal Virtu on 14.09.2016Cagetrap at Tal Virtu on 14.09.2016Yesterday afternoon CABS activists also discovered a freshly killed Cuckoo close to the Palazzo Tal Virtu as well as three stuffed protected birds which were disposed in an old ditch near Hal-Far. The trophies include a Purple Heron, a Roller, a Short Eared Owl and a Golden Oriole – species which are strictly protected on Malta and may not be shot. All four birds were collected by the police.

Also at Hal Far a Grey Heron with severe shotgun injuries on wings and legs was filmed by the birdwatchers.CABS also said that is has reported two large illegal cage trap installations to the police. The traps were found in the valley between Buskett and Tal Virtu and contained 13 live Turtle Doves, 6 Starlings and 9 protected songbirds. A patrol of the Administrative Law Enforcement (A.L.E.) inspected the site and initiated legal proceedings against the owner. Despite the live birds in the traps serving as decoys and being regarded as corpus delicti the police decided not to release them.

“The autumn hunting season is only two weeks old and we already have seen more illegalities than during the whole spring hunting season. These cases with the addition of the recent stork shootings shows that the situation remains of great concern”, Axel Hirschfeld stated. “We expect the police to do their utmost to convict the persons involved in these environmental crimes”.


Contact for photographic and video material and other information: CABS Press Officer Axel Hirschfeld, fon +356 99554442 or Email to CABS@komitee.de The pictures atttached to this PR show the bird trophies disposed in Hal Far and one of the cage traps from the Tal-Virtu area, (c) 2016 CABS The video is published here: https://youtu.be/JvAf_hAfgCs

Komitee gegen den Vogelmord e.V.. Committee Against Bird Slaughter (CABS) An der Ziegelei 8, D-53127 Bonn / Germany Maltese mobile 99554442 Email: CABS@komitee.de