[WATCH] Maltese hunters kill chance of 190,000 chicks each spring

Moira Delia launches SHout report on shocking effects of spring hunting and says that “spring never comes for the hunted”

Moira Delia and Mark Sultana present a SHout report on the devastating effect of spring hunting. Photo: Holly Forsyth
Moira Delia and Mark Sultana present a SHout report on the devastating effect of spring hunting. Photo: Holly Forsyth
Maltese hunters kill chance of 190,000 chicks each spring • Video by Ray Attard

A report launched today by TV presenter and animal activist Moira Delia and bird enthusiast and BirdLife Malta Trustee Mark Sultana for the Spring Hunting Out Campaign revealed the shocking fact that Maltese hunters kill the chance of 190,000 chicks being born each spring.

Speaking at a press conference in Għadira Nature Reserve, Moira Delia made a powerful speech about the cruel effects of spring hunting on wild birds. “190,000 eggs are not laid each year because Maltese hunters shoot their parents out of the sky. The lives lost are not just those of the birds killed, but also those stolen from the next generation. This is why spring never comes for the hunted.”

Mark Sultana said that the spring hunting season acts as a cover for the targeting of rare and protected birds, with over 38 protected species of birds being illegally shot in Malta during the last four spring hunting seasons. These include blue rock thrush, Malta’s national bird, and pallid harriers, Europe’s rarest bird of prey. Moira Delia said that “Countless protected birds are shot in Malta each year, and many are just left to die in agony in the countryside.”

Mark Sultana explained that EU law makes it illegal to hunt birds in spring, and that Malta is the only country to allow hunting of birds in spring purely for fun. The spring hunting season allows 11,000 turtle dove and 5,000 quail to be shot over three weeks, although many more are killed by Malta’s 10,000 hunters. Thousands of birds will never make it back home to breed, putting future generations of birds in danger. Mark Sultana stated that “turtle doves are in real danger across Europe, over 20million of these birds have disappeared since 1980. Spring hunting is endangering their survival”.

Delia urged everyone to speak up and make their voice heard “We cannot continue to steal from future generations, this is why we voters must turn out on 11 April and vote ‘no’ to end this destruction.”

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