ADPD reiterates position against spring hunting, supports referendum

ADPD chairperson Carmel Cacopardo says allowing spring hunting is a 'big mistake', warning that there is no such thing as 'sustainable spring hunting'

ADPD held a press conference on Monday in Marsaskala
ADPD held a press conference on Monday in Marsaskala

ADPD has reiterated its position against spring hunting, as well as calling for the strengthening of animal rights in a press conference on Monday. 

ADPD chairperson Carmel Cacopardo said allowing spring hunting was a “big mistake” and that the focus should be on the conservation of turtle doves and not on hunting them before they even have a chance to breed.

“There is no such thing as sustainable spring hunting,” Cacopardo said.

He said the spring hunting season would act as a smokescreen for the illegal killing of birds, as it did in the past. 

“In February, BirdLife Malta stated that of the 794 illegally shot protected birds in the past eight years - 76% were shot in the last four years alone. These birds are being shot for taxidermy purposes. Clearly, the Government favours hunters and trappers above anything and anyone else, letting them dominate our countryside,” he said.

Cacopardo added that both the Labour Party and the Nationalist Party were pandering for the votes of hunters. “This is unacceptable.” 

“ADPD stands four square with environmental NGOs in Malta, including BirdLife, on this issue. We highlight their call for Malta to fulfil international obligations for bird protection, for bird laws and policies to fall under ERA, and for the establishment of new areas for nature conservation and no hunting zones,” Cacopardo said.

ADPD candidate Mina Tolu also said the island had a long way to go in terms of addressing the protection and welfare of animals in Malta.

“In her latest annual report, the Commissioner for Animal Welfare reported on the considerable number of cases she regularly encounters concerning cruelty to animals. Her persistence in addressing this is making a great difference,” Tolu said.

The candidate said that allocating more resources and acting promptly on the recommendations made, would significantly increase the effectiveness of the office.

“In the past year, the public has been alerted to gross dog breeding malpractices and animal cruelty. Breeders must be more strictly regulated; this is an area that should not be left uncontrolled,” Tolu said.

They said that those who have pending cases in court should not be allowed to continue breeding.