BirdLife International CEO calls on PM not to open spring hunting season

‘I wish you could listen to the plea of thousands of supporters of nature and BirdLife Malta and decide not to open the season’

Birdlife International CEO Patricia Zurita
Birdlife International CEO Patricia Zurita

BirdLife International CEO Patricia Zurita has called on Prime Minister Robert Abela to show leadership by not giving in to lobbies and refrain from opening the spring hunting season.

“Unfortunately I got the news that your government is considering a hunting season in the weeks to come. While this contradicts drastically with what Europe is promoting amidst the COVID-19 crisis and the visionary Green Deal, I find it baffling that a progressive party like yours resists change in favour of nature, in particular bird protection,” Zurita wrote in a letter to Abela.

“One surely needs to be courageous to bring about change which might affect a very noisy lobby.”

Zurita represents the world’s largest nature conservation partnership with 115 partners worldwide, including BirdLife Malta.

In her letter she also reminded Abela that it was precisely the failure to enforce wildlife trade regulations by governments which led to the inception of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Zurita questioned the resources available to safeguard a spring hunting derogation as stipulated by law due to the coronavirus situation, and called on Abela to seriously reconsider the opening of the spring season for Quail, telling him that such a decision will be regressive, and it would also hinder the correct approach to controlling the COVID-19 pandemic in Malta.

Zurita said the BirdLife international partnership also supported the call for the establishment of a Wildlife Crime Unit within the Malta Police Force, adding that she trusted Abela will ensure that these requests are listened to and actioned upon.