NGO’s urge Dr Gonzi and Dr Sant to outlaw spring hunting

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NGO'sThirteen prominent Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) from environmental, social and cultural sectors have issued a joint statement urging Prime Minister Dr. Lawrence Gonzi and the Leader of the Opposition Dr. Alfred Sant to endorse the full implementation of the Birds Directive by outlawing spring hunting and trapping in 2008 and beyond.

The NGOs reminded both leaders of the European Commission’s conclusion that “alternative solutions to spring hunting exist, in this case the possibility to hunt the two species in the autumn”. It is now also clear that this matter lies at the heart of a wide cross-section of Maltese representation, with NGOs beyond the conservation field adding their voice to this call. The NGOs also drew the leaders’ attention to the fact that “the latest scientific studies show that 43% of Europe’s bird species are threatened or facing serious decline and therefore not in a good conservation status, including Turtle Dove and Common Quail.”

“Malta’s insistence on allowing spring hunting and trapping of Turtle Doves and Quails has already become a European wide embarrassment for our country. One need only note that the European Parliament’s resolution of March 15, 2007 is a very rare example of a Member State being openly urged by a great majority of MEPs from the whole political spectrum to comply with EU law. We, therefore, appeal to you to avoid further embarrassment for our country and ask you to endorse the full implementation of the Birds Directive by outlawing spring hunting and trapping in 2008 and beyond,” the NGOs concluded in their joint declaration.

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