from The Times of Malta, January 23, 2002
Massacre of mute swans
I was absolutely horrified to hear about the massacre of mute swans in St Thomas' Bay, but not at all surprised. During my visit to Malta, I witnessed many protected birds being blown out of the sky, although well away from the tourist resorts.
This latest episode in the appalling onslaught that Malta's wildlife faces, underlines the fact that the ALE are woefully under-resourced. It is high time that the Maltese Government also recognised this fact. Malta desperately needs a well-resourced, well-equipped wildlife protection unit within its police force, capable of bringing in extra trained officers during the peak migration periods to protect all of our birds as they pass through Malta.
Illegal hunting is unfortunately so widespread on Malta and on Gozo, that this will require a substantial financial input from the government. If this is not forthcoming, I fear that incidents such as that at St Thomas' Bay will have a severe effect on Maltas tourist industry. Tourists will not return if they witness such events on your islands.