HUNTING IN MALTA - STATE OF THE EUROPEAN UNION ACCESSION NEGOTIATIONS
Sunday Times of Malta on 16 June 2002
Extract from an interview with Malta's chief negotiator with the EU
"The second item concerns hunting and trapping. One must remember that
EU legislation is concerned about ensuring that hunting is sustainable,
not in banning it. We have put forward the case that hunting in Malta
has to be looked at as a specific case because the size of the islands
means that there are no resident species to hunt. The issue of trapping
is marginally different and possibly more difficult."
Local Proact sources in Malta comment:
"What the EU has to be made to understand are two things: one is that
hunting on Malta is still a free for all and everything is shot, not
just the quails and turtle doves which are permitted by law.
Secondly, there is the issue of the "return journey" - spring migration
- where birds also have to be
protected on the way to their breeding grounds. And what is a cause for
concern is if you look at the introduction under the section Period of
Reproduction and prenuptial Migration of Annex II Bird Species in
the EU in the following page:
This basically defines breeding birds are in terms of the EU directives.
Birds leaving Africa, resting somewhere in Europe and then continuing
their journey are not necessarily breeding birds! Conservationists
treating migrating birds on Malta injured by hunters have seen birds
such as golden orioles and turtle doves with eggs at their early stages
With regards to quail, when these were protected in Malta in 1993
through a closed season in spring, they bred on the islands in March. So
what is the sense of permitting hunters to shoot them in March and
The problem with the EU is that it deals with states, not individuals.
Many conservationists have tried to put the problems of hunting on Malta
across to EU officials working in the DG environment and responsible for
the Birds Directive; but they are very evasive and do not want to hear
All the more reason, in the final stages before accession, for Proact to
turn its sights on to the European Commission and members of the
European Parliament. If we allow exceptions for Malta and others, Mr
Michl Ebner, FACE (European Hunting Federation) and the hunters in
central and southern Europe will once again be clamouring for rights to
shoot more birds in spring and autumn.
A suggested draft text, and a link to the European Parliament pages to
enable you to find YOUR MEP, are at
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