Spring hunting should be abolished once and for all

May 25, 2016 5:13 pm

Scientific facts justify the permanent ban of spring hunting and playing political games with a moratorium on hunting of Turtle Doves only, excluding hunting of Quail,will solve nothing.

This was stated earlier today by BirdLife Malta in a reaction to today’s decision, announced by Government this afternoon, regarding a moratorium on spring hunting on Turtle Doves.

With today’s decision for a moratorium on spring hunting of Turtle Doves as requested by the hunting lobby – something which he should have done a long time ago based on the uncontested scientific facts which show that the species is in danger of extinction – Government is still playing political games and is now rendering the Ornis Committee and the Wild Birds Regulation Unit (WBRU) into a farce, thus ridiculing their proper existence.

If Government really wanted to show it is serious, it’s not a half-baked moratorium on Turtle Dove hunting it should have agreed to, but the permanent ban of spring hunting – on Turtle Dove and Quail – once and for all.

Whilst BirdLife Malta welcomes any decision to stop hunting in spring, it is seriously preoccupied with today’s decision which was only taken after the Federation for Hunting and Conservation (FKNK) pronounced itself. These are the reasons:

  • this is a political decision and not a rational or scientific one because the hunters, together with Government, requested a moratorium on only one species in spring, the Turtle Dove, whilst excluding Quail;
  • government has opted to continue allowing spring hunting of Quail notwithstanding the fact that Parliamentary Secretary for Agriculture, Fisheries and Animal Rights Roderick Galdes is in possession of reports that clearly show that there is an alternative for Quail hunting in autumn;
  • when allowing Quail hunting in spring to continue, Government knows far too well li that is humanely impossible to exercise control, as it is also next to impossible to ensure that hunters do not at the same time hunt other species, including Turtle Doves as well;
  • Government’s decision ridicules the proper existence of Ornis Committee and renders it irrelevant as nowadays all decisions being taken – as today’s decision shows – are being taken on a purely political basis. Today’s decision also ridicules and renders into a farce the Wild Birds Regulation Unit (WBRU) which forms part of Roderick Galdes’ Parliamentary Secretariat. WBRU has done its utmost to try to convince Ornis that notwithstanding the vulnerability status of the Turtle Dove declared by IUCN, spring hunting on the species should continue. These two entities have now been rendered powerless.

It’s not a moratorium Government should have announced today, but a permanent ban on spring hunting of Turtle Dove and Quail once and for all.

Read the Maltese version of the Press Release here.