‘Massacre on migration’ – BirdLife volunteer’s arrest captured on film

Episode 2 from BBC Springwatch presenter Chris Packham's video documentary on Malta and its spring hunting season

Chris Packham holds an injured Turtle Dove, one of the huntable quarries during Malta's spring hunting season
Chris Packham holds an injured Turtle Dove, one of the huntable quarries during Malta's spring hunting season

A BirdLife volunteer was arrested by police because intervening ALE officers were apparently annoyed at being filmed while carrying out their duty.

The police officer who allegedly described BirdLife members as “faggots” is facing a maximum penalty of seven days’ wages if found guilty.

Police sources have told MaltaToday that the officer “who babbled” faces a maximum penalty of a week’s wages, and may also be reassigned to another department within the force.

On Monday, a BirdLife Malta member of staff was arrested and cautioned by the police after recording the events following an incident where a recently dead Little Bittern, a protected species, was seen in the mouth of a hunters’ dog.

BirdLife also has a sound recording of the arresting officer telling a Maltese BirdLife volunteer at the scene of the incident that, “You are all faggots, the lot of you” (“pufti kollha” in Maltese).

In a statement issued on Monday, the NGO said that instead of focusing on identifying and arresting the suspected perpetrator, Administrative Law Enforcement (ALE) officers were “more concerned that the incident was being recorded”.

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