By Claudia Calleja
The mounted police will form part of the autumn hunting monitoring team, made of up to 100 officers, in what the Government says is as an “unprecedented” effort to curb illegal bird shooting.
The number of administrative law enforcement police officers was increased from 25 to 44, a spokeswoman for the Parliamentary Secretariat for Animals told Times of Malta.
The Government said last week it would be beefing up enforcement during the hunting season, which started last Sunday, but did not give details.
The spokeswoman said members of the police Administrative Law Enforcement unit would be assisted by the mounted section and district officers. Two officers from the Wild Birds Regulation unit and Armed Forces of Malta personnel would also be deployed to hunting hotspots.
“The precise numbers of officers deployed in the field will be available at a later stage.
“However, we envisage no fewer than 80 to 100 enforcement officers directly involved in the surveillance and monitoring of the season,” she said.
The Government also said last week it planned to raise penalties for those caught hunting illegally. The parliamentary secretariat spokeswoman explained yesterday that the new penalties would be “considerably and noticeably harsher”. More....