Committee Against Bird Slaughter (CABS) activists have filmed what appears to be a young child holding a loaded shotgun in what they say is another hunting illegality in the Ħas Saptan valley area, close to Għaxaq. 

CABS said the boy was around 10 to 13 years old and was handed the weapon by an older hunter. The child was also observed loading the gun with two shot cartridges. 

Footage of the incident (see below) was shown to the police who searched the area but have not yet identified the culprits.

“Not only is it illegal to hunt under aged 18, it is dangerous and unacceptable for a child to be encouraged to commit a crime with a weapon by an older person who should be setting a good example,” CABS Wildlife Crime officer Fiona Burrows said.

CABS also said its teams had on Friday evening witnessed a Hobby (Seqer tal-Ħannieqa) being shot down and found an injured Black-crowned Night Heron (Kwakka in Maltese).

The bird was handed over to Birdlife Malta who confirmed that the bird was shot with lead pellets found in its chest and neck. Both species are strictly protected and may not be hunted.

Footage provided by Committee Against Bird Slaughter. This video has been edited by Times of Malta.

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