Police seize 632 stuffed birds

Police seize 652 stuffed birds which were hunted illegally, home affairs minister Manuel Mallia says.

File photo.
File photo.

Home affairs minister Manuel Mallia said that following investigations on illegal hunting, the police seized 652 stuffed birds, including nine black storks, one flamingo and three eagle owls.

In reply to a Parliamentary question tabled by Opposition MP Charlo Bonnici in regards to how many stuffed birds were seized after hunters shot down a number of booted eagles in October, Mallia said that following investigations 652 stuffed birds were seized.

Among the haul, the police seized three booted eagles. In October, at least 12 protected eagles were shot down when they tried to find shelter at Buskett. One man was arrested by the police in connection with the illegal hunting of the rare species.

Mallia explained that the stuffed birds are being kept at the natural history museum in Mdina.

In a separate question, environment minister Leo Brincat explained that government improved surveillance in Buskett and other areas by doubling its efforts in spring and autumn.

He added that four police members from the cavalry were added to the surveillance unit and noted the creation of te specialist enforcement branch within the wild birds regulation unit and the the increase in penalties for serious hunting offences.