Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Italian police seize exotic birds bound for Malta

Italian police recently arrested three men in Catania on the eastern coast of Sicily and charged them with attempting to smuggle 200 endangered exotic birds out of Sicily to Malta.

Two of the suspects are Italian and the third is a Maltese truck driver. Reports from Italy say the police confiscated 200 birds, mainly small species worth more than 1000 euros in total.

Once the men had been charged the birds were handed over to a wildlife rescue centre in Sicily. In due course they will be released in a wildlife refuge.

It’s a well known fact that in the past a lot of song bird species were illegally imported from Sicily, Tunisia and the UK. Such species are mainly used as decoys on trapping sites during the trapping season. Since trapping for song birds in Malta is restricted to a number of species, such birds are in great demand.

According to the investigators, these species are sold illegally in Malta, with prices varying from 180 euros to 350 euros each.