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Press release - Friday, 19 September 2014

Hunters target protected raptors - again!

Honey Buzzard with serious shotgun injuries - seen in BuskettHoney Buzzard with serious shotgun injuries - seen in BuskettThis morning a CABS team observed a protected Marsh Harrier being shot down east of Safi, only 150 metres away from the runway strip of the Malta International Airport. The bird was shot from and fell into a property surrounded by high walls and monitored by several CCTV cameras. CABS said that the property is exclusively used for hunting and has been the scene of several bird of prey massacres in the last years. "This small stretch of land is a black whole for protected birds since many years. The poachers inside the area know very well that they cannot be seen or filmed behind the walls and kill every bird which flies past", states CABS Press Officer Axel Hirschfeld. "Due to the amount of protected birds that roost and get killed in that particular area, the site should be declared a bird sanctuary". The Bird Guards alerted the police, which arrived after 20 minutes and conducted an intensive search. The officers climbed over the wall but could neither find the dead bird nor identify the person who shot it.

In another incident a CABS team filmed a Marsh Harrier being shot down at the Dingli cliffs this afternoon at 16:45 PM. The Police General Headquarters (PGH) was informed at 16:50 PM and tried to forward the call to the ALE which could not be reached until 17:10 PM. "We tried to contact the ALE directly but the officer on the phone told us that they have orders not to accept reports from CABS unless they have been forwarded from the PGH", Hirschfeld said. Finally an ALE patrol vehicle arrived at the scene at 17:40, a total of 55 minutes after the first report was made. Despite the video clearly shows that the bird was hit the officers left without conducting a search in the area where the bird was shot down. The NGO announced that it will upload video footage of the incident at the Dingli cliffs tomorrow.

CABS today released a picture of a Honey Buzzard with severe shotgun injuries. The photo was taken yesterday morning close to Buskett Gardens (picture is attached to this PR).

Contact for photographic and video material and other information: CABS Malta control room, Telephone +356 99554442 or Email to CABS@komitee.de