The Federation for Hunting & Conservation – Malta has filed a report with the Commissioner of Police against BirdLife Malta (BLM), its officials Andre Raine and Geoffrey Saliba, and also against BLM’s partners, German based group CABS (Committee Against Birds’ Slaughter).
The federation said its report referred to an activity that occurred on September 20 on FKNK’s Hunting Reserve at Miżieb.
"Dr Raine and M. Saliba besides other BLM and CABS activists, at a time when hunting and trapping activities were still permissible and without anyone’s authorization or permit, carried out a search on site from where they claimed to have lifted a number of dead protected birds and remains that had been buried or hidden. Later, and still in possession of the protected birds, they exhibited the birds to members of the media, whom the same BLM and CABS had previously called on site. Subsequently the shot video footage was transmitted on all local TV stations and uploaded on the Internet through BLM’s and CABS’s Websites," the FKNK said.
It said the officials had broken the law by their actions, and their comments at the press conference constituted false information.
BirdLife Malta in a reaction said that no permits were needed for anyone to search the Mizieb woodland.
“FKNK seems to be oblivious to the fact that Mizieb is public land and no authorization is needed for members of the public to enter the woodland. Besides, contrary to the FKNK’s claims that they are entitled to the public land in Mizieb, neither the government nor the federation to date could provide any legal agreement proving this.” said Tolga Temuge, BirdLife Malta executive director.
The NGO said the search in Mizieb last September uncovered the remains of over 80 dead protected birds. This search took place on the anniversary of the discovery of over 200 dead protected birds found in the Mizieb woodland in September of 2009.
In both cases the police were called as soon as the first dead protected birds were uncovered, and the evidence was handed over to the authorities. However despite several requests made to the police and the OPM, the outcome of the investigations remained unknown, and no one had been brought to justice for the killing of the protected migratory birds found in Mizieb.
BirdLife said that it would consider taking legal action against the defamatory statements made by the FKNK in its press release.
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