Fifteen birds, including honey buzzards, marsh harriers, common kestrels, short eared owls, a hobby, turtle doves, a collared dove, and a yellow legged gull were released into the wild today, following rehabilitation.

The release was coordinated by the Parliamentary Secretariat for Agriculture, Fisheries and Animal Rights.

After brief period of acclimatization, most of these birds are expected to proceed on their annual migration south to the African continent, according to  the secretariat.

The birds had been handed in by members of the public after they were injured. They were treated by the Government Veterinary Services. Every year, on average just over 100 wild birds recovered by NGOs and members of the public and require some form of veterinary intervention.

Dr Gabriella Fumia, who oversees treatment and rehabilitation of wild birds at the government’s facility in Luqa said that around two thirds of all birds received at the facility were successfully treated and rehabilitated.

Parliamentary Secretary Roderick Galdes said that the government was preparing major improvements to procedures and facilities concerning rehabilitation of wild birds.

He said the government is in talks with Birdlife (Malta) to establish and manage the recently restored historic Tal-Bosk farmhouse in Buskett as a national rehabilitation centre for wild birds. In parallel, the government will upgrade government facilities to improve the quality of the veterinary service.

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