Salina ducks are diseased and must be isolated, BirdLife says

Domestic ducks close to Salina Nature Reserve “very sick and dying” but pleas for action fall on deaf ears

The area outside the reserve where these domestic ducks live is not managed by BirdLife
The area outside the reserve where these domestic ducks live is not managed by BirdLife

BirdLife Malta is requesting the authorities to take action on ducks at the Salina Nature Reserve which the NGO says are sick and dying.

BirdLife said it had witnessed several farmed Muscovy Ducks dying, with the numbers increasing daily. These domestic ducks are found on land which is not managed by BirdLife Malta, adjacent to the canal under the main road close to the entrance to Salina Nature Reserve.

BirdLife has communicated about the situation to all governmental authorities including the Environment and Resources Authority (ERA), the Government Veterinary Services, the Health Environment Directorate and the Animal Welfare Department.

“So far no action has been taken,” BirdLife CEO Mark Sultana said.

“The situation is serious and we are hoping to see the authorities step in to solve it at the earliest. We have been informing the authorities that these farmed ducks are alien to this site of high ecological importance and that being farmed without any control was detrimental to the biodiversity of the area but also for the same ducks. In fact, now the ducks have clearly contracted a disease and are dying rapidly.”

Sultana said the sick ducks need to be isolated in order to safeguard all.

This species of domestic duck hails from Central and South America and has become a farm animal in various countries. The biggest problem they face is that they need a constant supply of fresh water which in Malta is not found easily as a natural resource.

“This is one of the reasons why such ducks should not be placed in the wild anywhere in Malta, not even in coastal areas next to the sea. No one should keep them unless they are sure that they can provide them with the adequate conditions,” Sultana said.

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