ADPD blasts major parties over spring hunting

ADPD say Nationalist and Labour party ‘so terrified’ of hunting lobby they are willing to defend environmental illegalities 

The ADPD has condemned the “vote catching” tactics by the major political parties when dealing with the hunting lobby.  

“Spring hunting is clearly outlawed in the Birds’ Directive, and yet it is still commonplace in Malta. While the Directive provides for the possibility of a derogation in limited circumstances, this needs to be based on several strict criteria, amongst which are the strict supervision of hunting activities, and reliable data reporting,” Chairperson Carmel Cacopardo said.  

He said the Nationalist and Labour Party are “so terrified” of the hunting lobby that they are incapable of distinguishing right from wrong.  

“It is unbelievable, that both parties are actively bragging about allowing hunters to kill birds during their nesting period. Birdlife Malta is to be thanked for its perseverance in standing up for nature in the face of the arrogance of the Parliamentary parties and their friends,” he said.  

Last week BirdLife filed a judicial protest in Court against the Minister for the Environment, the Minister for Gozo and the Head of the Wild Birds Regulation Unit (WBRU) for plans to open a spring hunting season without meeting the targets and criteria stipulated by law. 

“The law stipulates the government can only open a spring hunting season – which is a derogation from the European Birds Directive – if the autumn hunting season was not a satisfactory alternative. This means that a spring hunting season on quail is dependent on the amount of quail hunted during the previous autumn,” BirdLife CEO Mark Sulatana said. ““It was obvious this motivated hunters to not declare their catches and over time the participation level of hunters started dwindling.” 

Cacopardo said the narrative around spring hunting needs to change, stating it is an unsustainible practice that prevents people from enjoying the countryside.  

“Additionally, there may be costly legal ramifications with the incorrect application of the derogation. Malta – because of its incompetent governments - already faced infringement procedures on spring hunting in the past and will most probably have to face the music yet once more.” 

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