FKNK Secretary General slams government’s announcement that the spring hunting season will open on 12 April and the bag limit is established at not more than 11,000 turtle doves and 5,000 quails. The Federation for Hunting & Conservation secretary general Lino Farrugia slammed the government’s decision to open the spring hunting season on 12 April as “insulting”.
“We are deeply disappointed with the government’s decision, which does not reflect the requirements of the EU directives,” Farrugia told MaltaToday, adding that the decision was based on the government’s own political needs. The FKNK will hold a press conference this Saturday in which it will explain in detail why the federation feels let down, he said.
Yesterday, the government published a Legal Notice which followed the recommendation by the Ornis Committee, submitted on 20 March, to open the season between Thursday, 12 April and Monday 30 April, both days included.
The national hunting bag limit for spring 2012 has been established at not more than 11,000 turtle doves and 5,000 quails.
The government however said that the season shall be terminated immediately by means of a press release should this national bag limit be reached before the 30 April 2012.
Spring hunting is prohibited by the Birds Directive in order to protect wild birds during their migration from Africa to breeding grounds in Europe.
The government added that Malta Environment and Planning Authority will be issuing a Special Licence for the Hunting in Spring 2012 to all eligible applicants as per procedure established by law.
“This non-transferrable licence would permit the hunting of two bird species only, namely turtle dove and quail. Only the holders of a valid carnet de chasse (licence to hunt birds) shall be eligible for the Special Licence for the Hunting in Spring 2012,” the statement said. Compliance with the relevant provisions of the Special Licence during the season will be monitored and supervised by Police and hunting marshals appointed by the MEPA.
Furthermore, the government explained that an independent ornithological monitoring study will be carried out during the period of the season to provide additional scientific assessment of migration flows of turtle dove and quail and to help in verification of enforcement measures.
“Licensed hunters will therefore be required to wear numbered armbands and carry their Spring Hunting License at all times, report their catches through an SMS system and through their Carnet de Chasse before leaving the hunting zone and abide by time restrictions and a daily bag limit of two birds and a season bag limit of four birds,” the government said.
The statement also explained that Police and hunting marshals will monitor closely the observance of hunting regulations and conditions. “Government demands nothing short of strict compliance with the hunting regulations established at law. Infringements will not be tolerated. It is the duty of each and every individual hunter to comply and adhere vigorously with the law.”
The government said that it is in the interest of hunting organisations and of individual hunters to ensure that no illegal hunting takes place since this would otherwise jeopardise any possible future hunting derogation.
This article was written by Jurgen Balzan and published by Maltatoday.com