There are many, many examples of injustice and wrongdoing in the world – so if you’ve taken the time out of your day to read an article about another one, you have my deepest gratitude. The main point of this article can be summed up in one sentence: Maltese hunters are killing protected migratory birds and the Maltese and European governments aren’t doing much to stop them.
The 2009 Birds Directive is a piece of legislation which states that all members of the European Union must enforce a ban on hunting that directly threatens wild birds. There are exceptions for common birds that can be used as food, or those that need to have their populations controlled, but for the most part it bans the killing of wild birds in the EU during vulnerable periods of their lifespans.
The spring migration is a vulnerable period for many birds, and almost no EU countries host a spring hunting season. The only exception to the rule is Malta. Additionally, although Malta’s law states that only specific species may be killed, birds that are listed as protected species are frequently killed by hunters, who go unpunished under the cover of the legal hunting season. Malta and the EU aren’t doing enough to protect these birds and it’s time for the people of the EU stand up and give nature a voice.
Wildlife photographer and Springwatch presenter Chris Packham has been in Malta for the past week with Birdlife volunteers helping to spread awareness of this issue among the Maltese and online viewers worldwide. The following video, the most recent in a series of video diaries from the project, is heartbreaking. If you are easily upset by wildlife atrocities, and you are already convinced that the hunting needs to be stopped, you may want to skip the video and find out more about what you can do for the cause by visiting the references at the bottom of this page. If you remain unconvinced or sceptical of your involvement in another country’s issues, I would urge you to watch the video below and rethink your position on the matter.
Oddly, or perhaps not, this video has had a side effect for me that I never expected. I’m only going to state this once, as I really don’t want to be one of those people that talks others to death about it, but I will be becoming a vegetarian. I’ve seen animals die before – in real life not just in videos – beloved family pets to old age, wild animals victim to traffic, but nothing has ever made me think so hard about my own habits as this video. It’s obvious to me that I couldn’t eat animal meat if I had to be present when the animal in question was killed, so I don’t feel it right to continue just because I can buy it from the supermarket shelves. This is not a ploy for any readers to join me, meat is an important part of a person’s diet and eating it is a natural part of daily life. I just feel the need to air this personal decision as an indication of the powerful effect the preceding campaign video has had on my life. It’s just a shame I decided to start on Bacon Roll Day.
For more information on hunting in Malta, and what you can do to stop this crime, please check out the references below.