A remote controlled aircraft which was being used by CABS to detect illegal hunting and trapping was shot down this morning near Marsascala.

A CABS - Committee Against Birds Slaughter - spokesman said the incident happened at about 7.30 a.m.

"It was flying quite high, between 80 and 100 metres and we therefore think it was shot down with a rifle and not a shotgun," Axel Hirschfeld said.

The wreckage was not found, despite the police being involved in the search.

He explained that the plane had detected an illegal trapping site - the third in as many days. As the pilot turned the model plane for a better view, shots rang out and the plane was brought down. Footage from the plane was transmitted directly to its pilot.

Mr Hirschfeld said the plane had proven to be effective in detecting illegalities and CABS were considering getting another one in September.

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