HAMPSHIRE wildlife presenter Chris Packham’s harrowing experience of witnessing the mass slaughter of migrating birds in Malta will be discussed in Parliament.
The House of Commons will debate UK policy on protection of migratory birds in the Mediterranean country tomorrow, after the BBC Springwatch presenter, who lives in the New Forest, spent a week filming on the island to draw attention to hunters.
The debate was called by Sir John Randall, MP for Uxbridge and South Ruislip, who will host a briefing with Mr Packham at 3pm.
Mr Packham, who has a zoology degree from the University of Southampton, saw the decline in species such as cuckoos, turtle doves and many rare raptors in the name of sport.
He spent the week taking video footage to highlight the plight and even filmed a heated exchange with hunters during which they repeatedly demanded he stopped filming.
He was quizzed by Maltese police following the confrontation, and claimed it was because lawyers from the hunters’ federation FKNK asked police to investigate an alleged privacy breach and defamation.
Mr Packham was released after five hours of questioning.
The three-week shooting season in Malta brings about 10,500 hunters to the island.
Mr Packham said he has written to MEPs to raise the issue in the European Parliament and hopes the European Union will clamp down on Malta, which is the only state to have an exemption from legislation meant to protect migratory birds.
Sir John Randall said: “This deplorable slaughter of migratory birds in Malta must stop. “Chris Packham has performed a service to the public and a service to nature by bringing it to light. “I believe that most of the people of Malta and the British public share his outrage at the illegal hunting of birds on spring migration.
“I have called this debate to ask the Government what it will do to help put an end to this pointless killing.”