Bad news for birds in Malta as hunting federation anticipates new open season in April
The Federation for Hunting and Conservation (FKNK) in Malta has announced that the government, with the FKNK’s help, “is ready to correctly apply a derogation from the Birds Directive to permit a limited and controlled hunting and trapping open season for turtle dove and quail in April 2013.”
This grim news means that there may once again be spring hunting in Malta in the coming months. The statement was issued only a few days after a pre-election joint press release confirmed that both sides agreed on certain issues within the limits of the Birds Directive.
In the statement, the FKNK congratulated the Labour Party and Prime Minister Joseph Muscat on their election victory and declared that that they are convinced that the Labour Party in government will restore hunters’ and trappers’ and their respective families’ dignity and respect, as well as their national Maltese, Gozitan and European citizens’ rights. “This includes the rights of these thousands of families to enjoy their privately owned Maltese countryside land," the federation said.
Max Farrugia, Chairman of International Animal Rescue in Malta, said: “It is still too early to know what is going to happen in the coming months but local NGOs are extremely concerned about the FKNK announcement. Any move to allow hunting and trapping of turtle dove and quail will simply turn the clock back in defiance of the majority of people in Malta who are opposed to hunting.
“Should the worst happen and an open season be permitted, we hope fervently that there will at least be strict enforcement of the law to prevent illegal hunting activity.”