Illegal grazing stills goes on.

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Illegal grazing stills goes on.

Post by MWP admin » Wed Dec 28, 2005 10:02 pm

During my 2 days in Gozo I have came accross several sheperds and their herd of sheep or goats in valley banks and garigues. I was noticing one of them for long, during my picnic break at Wied Ilma, limits of Dwejra. The sheperd leaves the herd in the area eating anything they find (except the oxalis of course becasue they find it sour) while the sheperd have a nap in some patch of grass. Quite a good way to earn money. No food expenses, no cleaning, have a nap, who cares for the flora... etc, etc


Again, grazing is illegal and as far as I know it also applies to Gozo; but where are the law enforcements? Dont get me wrong that this happens only in Gozo, I have seen it (but to a less extent) in Malta too.

Another case was very near the touristic area of Dwejra (as seen in the photos below). All that is required is a person who is paid to go around the main sites of Gozo, and who is caught grazing get a warning and then a nasty fine - as the traffic wardens do give us a fine in case we park our car slightly out of the parking lines, or we forget to put the parking clock.

Well the same problem again, no law enforcement, and when the cat is away (if there is a cat) the mice will play.
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Post by RB » Wed Feb 06, 2008 3:21 pm

MWP, do you have definitive info that grazing on public land is illegal? I am trying to find out, asking at the right places (I think) but have not yet had a sure reply.

To cut a long story short, goats are grazing in a valley and the last time they did this, they stripped the bark off carob trees resulting in the eventual death of the branches.

If it is certainly illegal I would wish to report this to the police but I need to know.

RB

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Post by MWP admin » Thu Feb 07, 2008 9:52 pm

From what I was thaught in the Diploma in Agriculture course (2005), grazing in non-pasture areas is illegal due to the presence of the protected plants present in such maquis/garigue habitats. The Ceratonia is off course one of the several protected species.

This is more serious in protected areas namely Natura 2000 sites (of which Dwejra is one of them)

Despite this knowledge (lecturer to student) I have not found evidence in writing of this law through the internet.

On a very small +ve side, grazing may get rid off of ruderal plants leaving some important native ones which offers a bad taste, such as Lamiaceae (Thymus, Rosmarinus, Teucrium flavum..) and Cistus spp.
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Post by jackpot » Fri Feb 08, 2008 10:26 am

what about the Cart Ruts- are they protected?
We found there the only place with the true Ophrys bertolonii in 2002, and hours later, we found there a herd with about 30-40 sheeps and goats exactly at the bertolonii site. All the years later we have never seen bertolonii again at this site or in Malta. Hope, that it will be back once because Ophrys sometimes sleep over years in the underground...

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Post by IL-PINE » Fri Feb 08, 2008 1:31 pm

well at least we can eat them :-D

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Post by MWP admin » Fri Feb 08, 2008 3:37 pm

It should be protected (Natural heritage / tourist attraction) but no law enforcement and who will ever report? Some claimed that they will not report anonymously illegal things that are of detriment to the environment even if you pay them :roll:

"When the cat is away, the mice will play" is one of the Maltesefavourite motos
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