[WATCH] Joseph Muscat admits better enforcement needed in hunting season

The Prime Minister acknowledged that enforcement during the last hunting season was unsatisfactory and has urged the Ornis Committee to take all necessary measures if there is flagrant abuse this spring

The spring hunting season is expected to start on 5 April if the government accepts the Ornis Committee's recommendation
The spring hunting season is expected to start on 5 April if the government accepts the Ornis Committee's recommendation
Ornis must take necessary action in face of flagrant abuses – Muscat

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat has advised the Ornis Committee to take "all the necessary measures" if there are flagrant abuses during the next spring hunting season.

Muscat was answering questions following a the launch of a public consultation on the National Agriculture Policy, where he was asked about the hunting advisory committee’s decision to recommend a spring hunting season that coincides with peak turtle dove migration.

The Ornis Committee voted on Tuesday to recommend a spring hunting season between 5 April and 25 April, whereas last year's season opened on 25 March and closed on 14 April.

"I want to send a clear message, that we will not allow abuses," Muscat said. "I am not satisfied with the level of enforcement there was during the last season."

Muscat said he discussed the matter with agriculture parliamentary secretary Clint Camilleri and asked him to inform the committee that it should take the "necessary measures" if flagrant abuses occurred. "I think it’s a very clear message," Muscat said.

Yesterday, BirdLife Malta said it was "under pressure" by its own lobby to consider a second referendum on spring hunting in light of the committee’s decision.

Read also: Hunters want change in referendum law after BirdLife moots new attempt to stop spring hunting

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