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Pressure mounts over Maltese bird hunting

SNP MEP Alyn Smith has once again called on the European Commission to take urgent steps to end the mass killing of rare migratory birds in Malta.

The two-term MEP and candidate in the forthcoming EU election has launched a petition on his own website, as well as signing Birdlife Malta’s letter to European Commissioner Potocnik, in hope of pressuring the Commission to act on this issue.

Smith said:

“The migration path of a number of rare species of bird, such as turtle doves and quails, takes them over Matla. As these birds pass over the island each spring they are targeted by over 10,000 Maltese hunters, who are recreationally killing an eye-watering number of rare birds, causing a serious decline in bird numbers in mainland Europe. We cannot allow this situation to continue.

“Malta is the only EU country permitted to have a recreational spring hunting season in which migratory birds are shot, due to a derogation from the EU Birds Directive given by the European Commission. However, a huge number of these rare species of birds are being killed both legally and illegally. The Commission has a responsibility to take action and it must be done immediately.

“I hope that by giving our support to Birdlife Malta’s letter, the MEPs who have signed it will increase the already mounting pressure on the Commission to act, and ultimately contribute towards ending the killing of these rare birds.”

You can sign Alyn’s petition here: