The Committee Against Bird Slaughter (CABS) together with officers of the Gozo police dismantled five massive cage trap installations designed for the mass-capturing of Turtle Doves.
All traps were found active and contained freshly caught birds as well as live decoys. 68 live Turtle Doves were seized, 51 of which were immediately released. 17 birds were brought into a rehab center for further treatment. CABS said that its teams have found the traps in the area around Xaghra and Marsalforn and in close vicinity to hunting hides.
“The birds were caught to be sold and used as live decoys for hunters during the spring hunting season”, CABS Press Officer Axel Hirschfeld said. The eNGO praised the Gozo police for their quick reaction to their report. It also mentioned that the governments Wild Bird Regulation Unit (WBRU) assisted in the operation by giving legal advice with regards to the confiscation of ringed decoys as corpus delicti.
CABS highlighted the fact that its volunteers were able to find 5 massive traps within 2 days in a very small area of Gozo. “We only discovered those traps which could be spotted from public roads or high vantage points. It is safe to assume that a multiple thereof can be found in other areas of Gozo and on places which are either inaccessible or hidden behind walls or trees”. It therefore called on the authorities to conduct own proactive search operations to ensure that all traps will be dismantled and their owners can be taken to court.
CABS also reported that on Tuesday its teams filmed and reported a hunter in Garghur (Malta) while hunting too close to a residential area. While the police was searching for the man, another hunter approached the waiting CABS team and massively abused its members with xenophobic insults. Also this incident was filmed and will be reported to the police.