The decision to open a spring hunting season for one bird species, the Common Quail, is a sad ploy by the Government to allow hunters to shoot protected birds in spring. Prime Minister Robert Abela has once again proven that he is willing to defy the European Union (EU) in the mistaken belief that he will gain votes from his defiant decision.
The decision by Prime Minister Robert Abela to open a hunting season for one species will allow hunters to shoot protected birds in spring
While Malta faces an Infringement Procedure on last year’s opening of the spring hunting season, the European Commission has warned the Maltese Government that the opening of the hunting season for Common Quail (Summiena) coincides with the spring migration of the endangered European Turtle-dove (Gamiema).
Prime Minister Robert Abela has decided to defy the EU and go ahead with the spring hunting season, when the Government lacks the interest and the resolve to enforce the laws and is willing to mollycoddle the hunting lobby purely for electoral reasons.
BirdLife Malta CEO Mark Sultana stated: “Malta will have to again face the EU on this. BirdLife Malta will continue to keep the EU informed about what is happening in Malta and show that the opening of the spring hunting season is being carried out as an excuse for hunters to go out and shoot at anything that flies.”
Mark Sultana pointed out that the carnet de chasse – which is an obligation for every licensed hunter to report hunted species – is not being sent to the Wild Birds Regulation Unit (WRBU). The latest figures show that out of 10,675 licensed hunters in 2020 only 292 hunters, or 2.7%, participated in the carnet de chasse.
“This is in full disregard of the law and shows to what extent Robert Abela continues to handle the protection of nature in Malta.”
Read the Maltese version of the press release here.