Committee Against Bird Slaughter locates 72 illegal electronic lures in Maltese countryside

A CABS photo showing the two hunters it claims shot three birds each near Buskett on Saturday.

A CABS photo showing the two hunters it claims shot three birds each near Buskett on Saturday.

Hunters have installed an estimated three-figure number of illegal electronic lures for quail and protected waders in the Maltese countryside, the Committee Against Bird Slaughter (CABS) said today.

It said that in the last four nights volunteers conducted spot checks and located 72 devices in Ramla Bay, Red Tower, Selmun Palace, Il-Maghtab, Ta’ San Pietru, Ta´ Benniena, Ta’ Qali, San Martin, Ta’ Mrejnu, Wardija, Golden Bay, Mgarr, Gneina Bay, Ta’ Santi, Victoria Lines, Tal-Abatija, Dwejra Lines, Fomm ir-Rih, Wied Rini Radio Station, Rdum tal-Vigarju, Mtahleb, Fiddien, Dingli Cliffs, Buskett, Tal-Virtu, Gebel Cantar, Fawwara, Has-Saptan, Zurrieq, Ghar Lapsi, Hal-Farrug, Gudja and the Delimara peninsula.

“As our survey only covered a small part of the island, the number of callers heard by our teams is only a small percentage of the true figure. A realistic guess would be in the low hundreds,” CABS operations officer Axel Hirschfeld said.

CABS said that the police were called several times but they did not manage to confiscate a single device.

“The fact that such a large-scale illegality goes unpunished is absolutely irreconcilable with any zero tolerance policy or strict supervision which is one of the conditions of the derogation for spring hunting.

“The problem is that the ALE is not on duty before 5am and the local police do not seem to be willing or able to deal with the situation,” the organisation said.

The NGO added it will provide the ALE with a detailed map of the locations from where the bird callers can be heard.

CABS said that to protect the devices from being stolen or confiscated by the police , hunters locked them in metal boxes or used oil barrels which have been embedded or filled with concrete or large boulders.

CABS also reported that on Saturday morning one of its teams managed to film two hunters who shot three quails each close to Buskett Gardens. The bag limit of two birds per hunter and day.

Both men also failed to report their catch by SMS as required and continued to hunt. They were stopped by the ALE who took their particulars and have instituted proceedings against the two men, it said.

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