The Federation for Hunting and Conservation – Malta (FKNK) says the European Commission’s calls for a hunting suspension on 9 water-bird species, ‘does not have a legal basis for EU Member States,’ and shouldn’t be imposed in Malta.
This is just one of the points of contention that FKNK outlines in response to the EC’s call to European member states to suspend the hunting of species like the Common Pochard and the Northern Lapwing.
According to the EC, the decision to suspend runs in conjunction with changes in the African-Eurasian Migratory Water-bird Agreement (AEWA) introduced in December last year.
FKNK says that, ‘there are serious problems with this EC demand.’
In addition to questioning it’s legal basis, the hunting body also believes that the changes will cause confusion over what the AEWA and requirements of the ‘Birds’ Directives expect of EU member states.
FKNK also stresses that the measure ‘goes beyond the EC’s Hunting Guide (2008) and does not take account of the efforts of the hunting community in managing these species.’
They also call that prior to the suspension, ‘there should be an analysis on the impact of hunting on these populations, without which consideration the suspension of hunting is speculative.’
In their letter to the Parliamentary Secretary Clint Camilleri, they stated it would be difficult for Malta to impose such a suspension when there isn’t a breeding habitat for the Common Pochard and the Northern Lapwing.
‘Malta can never devise a management plan for any of these two passage-migrant species, which of course do not breed on the islands. Furthermore, Malta can prove the tiny and insignificant harvest numbers of both species as evidenced in recent years’ bag statistics.’
FKNK conclude their statements by saying that they believe this move would reduce the number of species Maltese hunters can hunt.