The police said today that the working hours of its Administrative Law Enforcement section have been adjusted in order to curb illegal trapping at night.
"Although the number of detected illegalities is low, it is nevertheless considered to be successful," the police said.
The police were replying to a statement by CABS on December 21 when they said the police were not acting against illegal trapping at night.
The police insisted that the ALE had always responded immediately to reports lodged by both Non-Governmental Organisations (CABS and BirdLife Malta). On September 24, 2015, the police also agreed to a request to hold a joint operation with CABS. That night, a number of bird callers used to trap quails were detected and duly disconnected.
Although the ALE did not routinely conduct night patrols on a regular basis, it nevertheless often patrolled the countryside at night.
Although trapping at night did occur, it did not happen on the scale depicted by CABS, the police said.
On the night of November 26, 2015, the peak of the Golden Plover’s migration season, not a single bird caller was heard in Malta. Notwithstanding, the ALE detected and act upon illegal trapping and hunting activities outside the permitted hours.
"Working hours have meanwhile also been adjusted so that the ALE’s duties could commence before the standard 5 a.m. with the sole purpose of curbing illegal trapping at night and although the number of detected illegalities is low, it is nevertheless considered to be successful."
With regards to illegal activity in Delimara, the police said it was not the first time that the persons who were referred to by CABS were investigated by the ALE. Charges were issued against them on numerous occasions.
Also, with regards to the morning of December 9, 2015, the Gozitan ALE inspected the area known as l-Għadira ta’ San Rafflu, detecting a bird caller and identifying its owner in the process.
District Police had also inspected a number of sites by CABS, including Binġemma, Għargħur, Siġġiewi, Wied Garnaw and Tas-Silġ Chapel. The latter was in fact inspected.