Sadly the senseless stories of human hunting birds towards extinction are not confined to the history books. With the Hen Harrier on the brink of national extinction, as a british national I find it hard to sling mud at the practices of other nations, but the bi-annual slaughter of migrating birds in Malta really does beggar belief. Every spring and autumn maltese guns let loose against the many thousands of birds that migrate across the island, a largely illegal but unregulated massacre.
Many of the species shot down are protected, but the hunting lobby in Malta carries a lot of political sway and prosecutions are extremely rare. In the last couple of weeks alone 2 white storks were killed. The maltese government have thankfully bowed to international pressure and temporarily closed the current hunting season until 10th October, which should allow a safe passage to many of the migrating birds, unless that too is breached. Violence by Maltese hunters the other day does nothing to engender confidence that the law will be respected.
|A very quick and rough impression of a White Stork|
You can read more on this topic on the Birdlife Malta website.