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International Animal Rescue Saving animals from suffering around the world

Malta to allow spring bird killing again

X-ray of injured harrier showing broken wingA petition calling on the government to maintain the ban on spring bird hunting in Malta is being vigorously supported by International Animal Rescue.

For the past two years spring hunting has not been allowed in Malta after an interim measure was issued by the European Court of Justice. In 2009 the Court found Malta in breach of European law for allowing spring shooting of turtle doves and quail without meeting the conditions of a derogation implemented when it became a member of the European Union.

In spite of this, the Maltese government is still considering opening what it describes as a “limited spring hunting season” in 2010. If the Government does decide in favour of hunting, it will be an open invitation to illegal hunters to roam the countryside during spring migration.

The petition organised by Birdlife Malta calls on the government not to reverse all the positive progress that has been made on the hunting issue. Campaigners are appealing to the Government not to ignore the true scale and seriousness of the illegal shooting of migrating birds. These birds travel thousands of kilometres from Europe to Africa to spend the winter in a warmer climate and every spring the same birds migrate back to Europe to breed and increase their numbers. Cruelly, on the routes both to and from their breeding grounds significant numbers of these protected birds are illegally shot down as they pass over Malta.

» Sign the petition