Malta – 22. 03. 2020
CABS releases footage of "Sniper-Poacher" filmed near Naxxar
Suspect has been identified by the police
Malta. The Malta police have confirmed that they will press charges against a poacher who was filmed on Friday in Naxxar, hunting with a semi-automatic sports rifle during closed season. According to the Committee Against Bird Slaughter (CABS) the man was spotted and filmed by one of its teams monitoring the countryside north of Naxxar at around 16:00hrs on Friday. "As the hunting season is closed at the moment our team immediately started filming the man from a distance. When they zoomed in they realised that the suspect was handling a large rifle which – at the first glance – looked similar to a military style sniper weapon”. CABS Press Officer Axel Hirschfeld said.
This was confirmed by the fact that the man also used a professional riflescope and had his weapon placed on an accuracy shooting bag. A video of the incident has been uploaded here. The footage shows the man scanning the countryside and subsequently aiming the weapon in the direction of the CABS team.
"We immediately called the police in Naxxar who attended within 25 minutes. Unfortunately the poacher had left the hide and drove off before the officers arrived, but we managed to film his face, his weapon and the registration plate of his car", CABS Wildlife Crime Officer Fiona Burrows said adding that based on the evidence provided by CABS, the police were able to confirm the identity of the man. He is expected to face trial for hunting during the closed season, carrying and using an automatic rifle not approved for hunting and using a forbidden rifle scope for hunting. However, it is not known if the rifle used by the man in the video has been found and confiscated. CABS said that it has shown the footage to weapon experts who identified the rifle as a sport shooting automatic air rifle.
CABS said that for the time being its teams will continue to monitor the countryside in Malta and Gozo and report all cases of illegal hunting and bird trapping to the police. "The case from Friday shows that although the police has limited resources at the moment poachers still can and will be held responsible for their actions", the Bonn-based conservation organisation said.
Contact for more information: CABS Press Officer Axel Hirschfeld, +49 1794803805 or Email to CABS_at_komitee.de