Watch: 2020 worst year for illegal hunting – Birdlife

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

LIVE: BirdLife Malta tiftaħ proċeduri legali fil-Qorti kontra l-Gvern

Posted by on Thursday, April 30, 2020

On Thursday, BirdLife Malta addressed a press conference after filing a new legal action in Court against the Maltese Government following the Judicial Protest and the Complaint filed in the past weeks in relation to the Prime Minister’s illegal decision to place hunting and trapping under the remit of the Minister for Gozo.

The press conference was addressed by BirdLife Malta President Darryl Grima and CEO Mark Sultana.

BirdLife Malta questioned why the hunting regulator has been placed under the Ministry for Gozo which is headed by Minister Clint Camilleri a hunter himself and reportedly a member of the two hunting lobbies, FKNK and KSU. This will automatically lead to less regulations and it is a purely a political move by Prime Minister Robert Abela.

BirdLife Malta officials also gave details on this year’s spring hunting season which comes to a close today at 12pm. Mark Sultana said that as they had anticipated, the season, supposedly open only for Quail, was characterised by an illegal massacre of Turtledoves.

Sultana said that this year will definitely be the worst year in relation to illegal hunting and for this reason, Birdlife Malta has no option but to take legal action against the Maltese government on a European level, said Birdlife CEO Mark Sultana.

The NGO said that this season was again a smokescreen for illegalities and designed in a way to allow hunters to shoot at, and kill Turtle-doves in spite of the fact it was supposedly open only for Quail. Over just 20 days of hunting, we have had 44 known illegally shot protected birds, more than triple what we had last year with 12.

Birdlife Malta said that in 2018 and 2017 during the same period we had 18 and 15 respectively which means that in 2020 we have just one bird less than the total number of the last three spring hunting seasons all together.

Birdlife President Darryl Grima said that they never received a form of reply from the authorities and that is why they are taking new legal actions. Also in view of the issuance of hunting licences by the Gozo Ministry when according to the environmental legislation the Gozo Minister has no legal right to issue this document. He also said that if any action is taken against hunters Gozo Minister Clint Camilleri shall assume the responsibility as he should have issued hunting licences.

Grima said that the NGO demands that the Wild Birds Regulation Unit (WBRU) again should fall under the remit of Environment Minister Aaron Farrugia.