Spring hunting season on Malta closed prematurely

Success for bird protection



Press release of may 14, 2007


Radolfzell. After years of activities, EuroNatur can finally report a success for the international protection of birds. The Maltese Government has closed the controversial spring hunting season on quails and turtle doves, because of repeated shooting at protected species such as the endangered honey buzzard.

According to EuroNatur, the intervention of the government is to be considered a success that hopefully signals a definite end to spring bird hunting on Malta. In EU-countries, spring bird hunting is illegal, in order to protect breeding birds or those in preparation for breeding. EuroNatur and its partners on Malta have been calling for an abortion of this exceptional rule for a long time, since every year numerous endangered bird species are shot illegally. Increased police control shall help securing the compliance with the ban on hunting.

Says EuroNatur president Claus-Peter Hutter: "We welcome this overdue action implemented by the Maltese Government. The problem with bird hunting on Malta is that none of the two big political parties wants to lose the votes of the bird hunters. The gap between the socialists and the governing people's party is traditionally very small, and elections are scheduled for 2008. It remains to be seen whether the ban is definitive or if new exceptional rules will be implemented next year."

However, EuroNatur partners on Malta fear assaults on nature reserves on Malta. Only last week, unidentified persons ripped out about 3000 pine seedlings that had been planted in Mellieħa in the course of a reforestation plan. 

This year, spring hunting on quails and turtle doves had originally been authorized from April 10th to May 20th. In any case, hunting with traps will continue until May 20th. According to EuroNatur, in Europe each year more than 100 million birds are shot or trapped.


Article in "Times of Malta"



For further information please contact:

European Nature Heritage Fund (EuroNatur)

Konstanzer Str. 22

78315 Radolfzell

Phone  07732 – 92 72 0

Fax   07732 – 92 72 22

e-Mail  info(at)euronatur.org

Internet www.euronatur.org





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