As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Monday, 16 June 2014

Bill Oddie demands end to Malta's ''cruel and destructive'' mass bird shoot tradition

The Mediterranean island's three-week killing frenzy sees 10,000 gun-toting hunters blast hundreds of thousands of migrating birds out of the sky

British holidaymakers flocking to Malta this summer are being urged to back a ban on the country’s annual mass bird shoot.

Each year the Mediterranean island hosts a three-week killing frenzy where nearly 10,000 gun-toting hunters using the motto “if it flies, it dies” blast hundreds of thousands of migrating birds out of the sky.

It is the only EU country to have a recreational spring hunting season allowing birds to be shot.

Wildlife expert Bill Oddie has called on the 450,000 UK tourists who will fly to Malta in the coming weeks to press the authorities to scrap the yearly bloodshed.

He said: “Maltese gunmen call this annual massacre a ‘tradition’, and indeed it is – a cruel, wasteful, destructive tradition that may only abate when there are no more birds to kill. It must not get that far.”

There are 9,800 registered hunters in Malta. This works out as 80 hunters per square kilometre of land where hunting is permitted – a bigger concentration than anywhere else in the world.

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