“Historic date in the Maltese hunters’ & trappers’ calendar”

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"Historic date in the Maltese hunters’ & trappers’ calendar"“The 10th of September is a historic date in the Maltese hunters’ and trappers’ calendar,” the Federation for Hunting & Conservation – Malta [FKNK] said in a statement today.

On this daet in 2009 the European Court of Justice (ECJ) delivered its judgment on the Malta spring hunting issue. The FKNK said that the ECJ ruled in favour of the principle, in the particular case of Malta, that autumn hunting of turtle doves and quails does not provide a satisfactory solution, thus making a limited spring hunt the only viable alternative.

“The ECJ ruling is definitive, irrevocable, and cannot be appealed against.”

“It paved the way for successive Maltese Governments to derogate from the E.U. “Birds” Directive in order to put into practical effect the ECJ’s decision that does justice to the Maltese hunters. The subsequent framework legislation that allows and conditions the spring hunting derogation gained the approval of the EU Commission for the Environment,” the FKNK said.

It pointed out that spring hunting in Malta “is limited, is subject to a very restricted quota of birds that may be taken, and is strictly enforced as it takes place under constant police surveillance. It attempts to put Maltese hunters on a level with their counterparts in the other EU States whose autumn hunting of the turtle dove and the quail is so satisfactory as to obviate the need to hunt these two species in spring.”

The FKNK said that “the facts above stated are acknowledged by the Maltese Government, the EU Commission for the Environment and all people of good faith.”

“The 10th September 2009 will remain a historic date and it will continue to be commemorated and celebrated for years to come,” the FKNK concluded.

File photograh by David Tipling/Nature Picture Library.

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