The first report of illegal hunting came on Saturday, with Birdlife Malta reporting that it had recovered an injured Marsh Harrier. It said the bird was certified shot by the veterinarian.
The spring hunting season opened 24 March 2017.
“On the second day of the hunting season, yesterday a member of the public who contacted BirdLife Malta found this injured male Marsh Harrier in his field at Selmun. After BirdLife Malta attended to its rescue, the bird of prey was taken to the vet who confirmed it was shot and suffering from injuries to its right wing.”
Birdlife Malta said this goes to to show that “once again hunting seasons are a smoke screen for those who shoot protected birds.” It reiterates its calls on the Government of Malta and on Prime Minister Joseph Muscat to close the hunting season.
“While the spring hunting season should have never been opened, such illegalities should push the Government to close the season with immediate effect as it had done in the past in order to enable enforcement to do its job,” Birdlife said.