Report on the EU-Malta Agreement
International Animal Rescue (Malta) strongly condemns the agreement which the Maltese government has negotiated with the EU regarding hunting and trapping in Malta.
According to this agreement, the present spring hunting season would be maintained while turtle doves and quails would still be hunted in the spring in Malta. As regards to trapping, this would also continue in the spring and trapping of seven different species of songbirds, along with turtle doves, quails and golden plovers would be allowed.
IAR (Malta) find it totally unacceptable that the Maltese government has given in to the pressure of the Maltese hunting lobby and has spent a good part of its time and energy in negotiating concessions for Maltese hunters in order to enable them to keep on hunting in the spring. As a result of the Maltese hunters’ blackmail and of the Maltese government’s willingness - together with the Malta Labour Party - to give into blackmail, there will be two kinds of victims.
The first are the ten different species of birds that will be brutally shot down or trapped in the spring during the nesting period. The second will be the majority of the Maltese population, and tourists alike who will continue to be deprived by the hunting community of the already limited open spaces and countryside available in our country. Moreover, to add insult to injury, the Maltese government has gone out of its way to ensure that the European Union would accept that such barbarous activities as hunting at sea three kilometres away from the Maltese shore, would be allowed to continue.
International Animal Rescue (Malta), through its activities in Malta and in the European Parliament, with the help of Eurogroup for Animal Welfare in which we have observers status would continue to pursue the interests of the majority of the Maltese people in order to ensure that hunting in spring would be abolished in Malta. IAR is one of the Coalition for Animal Welfare Federation in Malta which did not agree with a Maltese Bird Protection society and its international partners on this issue. The strategy was totally different. We feel that they did very little to persuade the Malta Government and the EU on the issue of safeguarding this European Heritage. One has to keep in mind that the birds slaughtered or trapped in Malta are European Birds on migration and not locals. We owe it to our future European partners to protect these birds!