The government has reported that a total of fifteen birds, including honey buzzards, marsh harriers, common kestrels, short eared owls, a hobby, turtle doves, a collared dove, and a yellow legged gull have been released into the wild today, following rehabilitation. The release was coordinated by the Parliamentary Secretariat for Agriculture, Fisheries and Animal Rights, in collaboration with the Armed Forces of Malta and the Malta Police Force.  After a brief period of acclimatization, most of these birds are expected to proceed on their annual migration south to the African continent.

The birds have been recovered by members of the public with various injuries and were successfully treated and rehabilitated by the Government Veterinary Services. Every year, on average just over 100 wild birds recovered by NGOs and members of the public require some form of veterinary intervention.

Dr Gabriella Fumia, who oversees treatment and rehabilitation of wild birds at the Government’s facility in Luqa said that around two thirds of all birds received at the facility are successfully treated and rehabilitated.

Commenting on the release of birds, Parliamentary Secretary Roderick Galdes said that the Government is in the process of implementing major improvements to procedures and facilities concerning rehabilitation of wild birds. As part of this process, the Government is in talks with Birdlife (Malta) to establish and manage a recently restored historic Tal-Bosk farmhouse in Buskett as a national rehabilitation centre for wild birds. In parallel, the Government shall be investing in the upgrade of existing Government facilities to improve the quality of the veterinary service.

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