[WATCH] Illegal bird trove discovered by police in Safi farmhouse

Police and environment authority raid uncovers more than 700 protected bird carcasses imported illegally from Egypt and Sudan • Six men and one woman held for questioning

The carcasses included eagles, vultures, pelicans and flamingos
The carcasses included eagles, vultures, pelicans and flamingos
Illegal bird trove discovered in Safi

Hundreds of protected bird carcasses imported illegally into Malta have been found during several inspections conducted by members of the Administrative Law Enforcement section alongside officials from the Environment and Resources Authority. 

In one location alone, a farmhouse in Safi, 660 bird carcasses were found stacked in several freezers.

Inspections were carried out in various localities, including Kirkop and Gudja.

The carcasses of protected birds were found in freezers
The carcasses of protected birds were found in freezers

Police said during these inspections hundreds of protected birds, that had been illegally imported into Malta from Egypt and Sudan were found.

The species found included, pelicans, flamingos, storks, eagles, falcons and vultures. The Environment and Resources Authority said all the birds found were protected at law.

The police said the birds were going to be sold in Malta.

Six men and one woman have been detained by the police for further investigation. According to ERA, three persons from Kirkop assisting the police in their investigations were previsiously known to the authorities after having already been investigated and successfully prosecuted for similar crimes in the past.

ERA said the majority of the birds were illegally smuggled into Malta recently. "The seizure came following weeks of joint investigations together with the Malta Police Force. Yesterday’s haul represents the largest haul of smuggled protected dead birds revealed in the last six years," ERA said.

It is understood that the majority of the birds found were in the process of being stuffed for collection purposes. They originated from the Northern African region and the consignment’s value is estimated as running into tens of thousands of euros.

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