BirdLife Malta has welcomed the jailing of a hunter who shot down four flamingos at Qawra Point in October 2021, saying it was the result of a coordinated effort that should be replicated for proper enforcement of laws against illegal hunting in the country.
Miguel Zammit, 24, has been sentenced to a one-year jail term along with the confiscation of his shotgun and a revocation of his hunting licence for life, apart from being permanently disqualified from holding any firearm licence.
This sentence came about after a birdwatcher witnessed the killing of the protected birds and reported it to both Malta Police and BirdLife Malta.
The events of 2 October 2021 had led BirdLife Malta to reiterate its call on the government to designate Qawra Point as a no-hunting zone, with the illegal hunting hotspot being declared a protected nature reserve just a couple of days ago, a year after the incident.
On that day, BirdLife Malta filmed the individual who jumped into the sea to retrieve the Flamingo carcasses.
“This sentence is the result of very well-documented evidence by the birdwatcher himself and the BirdLife Malta official along with the efficient work of the police who arrived on site in a very short time. Efforts by the Armed Forces to retrieve the bird carcasses were also instrumental, along with the prosecution,” the conservation organisation said.
The action taken, Birdlife Malta added, stood in stark contrast to the lack of effort shown by hunting organisations to discipline their members.