Alyn Smith MEP has supported an environmental NGO’s campaign to end the spring bird hunt in Malta.
Malta’s derogation from the EU Birds Directive makes them the sole EU country to allow the recreational hunting of turtledoves and quail. A 2015 referendum on spring hunting saw 50.4% of voters support the existing law, much to the disappointment of BirdLife Malta. Open season for the 2016 hunt will now be the 17th – 30th April.
Alyn, Honorary Vice President of the Scottish SPCA, said:
“Spring hunting in Malta is no sport. In this 14-day hunting period, migrating birds are killed before they can breed. It may not sound like much, especially considering Malta’s small size but in this period hunters are legally permitted to kill 5,000 birds.
“Malta may have reduced the permitted hunting hours and the maximum quota, but rare birds are still being literally caught in the crossfire. The turtledove, for instance, is now officially listed as an endangered species.
“Ordinarily, I would not interfere with the traditions of another country, but the Commission has a responsibility to take action. That’s why I back BirdLife Malta’s ongoing campaign to oppose this antiquated bloodsport.”