Maltese bird smuggler caught in Italy

Committee against Bird Murder e.V. (CABS)

Strike against bird smuggling from Italy to Malta – After months of surveillance in Villa San Giovanni (Calabria), the Italian financial supervisory authority (Guardia di Finanza) has caught a well-known Maltese businessman with more than 1,000 illegally caught goldfinches, chaffinches, and hawfinches.

The birds were hidden in a van that the former diamond dealer wanted to use to take the ferry to Malta. On the black market there, the charge would have been worth between 75,000 and 100,000 euros.

The birds are now flying free again, a video of the release and the smuggling vehicle has now been published on Youtube:

The committee congratulates the Italian police on this great success but also points out that the Maltese authorities had already been informed about the smuggling activities of the man who was now arrested since 2018 and apparently remained inactive.

In order to combat the illegal fishing of finches in Malta in spring, the committee will be present on the Mediterranean island with two teams in March and April 2021.

And I mean…Criminal methods are used by hunters on the Mediterranean island of Malta at a mafia-style!

With 385,000 inhabitants, of which 14,000 are registered as hunters and 8,000 as trappers, the archipelago has the highest population density as well as the highest “hunter density” in Europe.
Another 3,000 or so illegal hunters are added, making a total of 25,000 bird hunters in Malta.

And that on a land area (316 km2) that is smaller than Lake Garda!

Bird hunting and trapping have a long tradition in Malta. The so-called “trapping” in particular has an important social component. Instead of going to the football field, people catch birds on Sundays.

80% of the hunters collect shot birds stuffed as trophies. That is, the motivation to hunt does not result from the desire to have something edible on the table, but to complement the missing species in the living room showcase.

When Malta joined the EU, in 2004, it was required to integrate the directive into its national legislation, but according to Birdlife Malta and CABS, successive Maltese governments have been lax in preventing trapping.

In June 2018, the European Court of Justice ruled that Malta had violated the directive by introducing too many exemptions and failing to implement adequate enforcement measures.

In October 2018, in response to the June ruling, Malta lifted its rules on the fall live capture of finches and only allowed the catching of golden plover and song thrush.

But Birdlife Malta and CABS, which were searching the island for illegal activity, reported that nothing had changed.

My best regards to all, Venus


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