Spring hunting to stay as the Yes vote wins the Referendum
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Update: Spring hunting is to continue in Malta and Gozo, as the Yes camp wins the Referendum result, which was close right to the end, the margin was between 51 and 52%. The results were announced to a packed counting hall at Naxxar.
Fireworks in celebration were heard across Gozo the moment the result was announced. By midday the centre of Victoria and its surrounding streets, were full of carcades, with honking horns and loud music.
The SHout campaign to abolish spring hunting, conceded defeat and said, “we thank each and every person who supported the campaign, who voted no yesterday. We have seen something amazing happen here in the past few months, we have raised the issue of birds and conservation to a whole new level in Malta.”
Spring hunting season will now open, as previously announced, on Tuesday, with 20 half days.
The Prime Minister Dr Joseph Muscat confirmed this morning hat the spring hunting season will be opening on Tuesday.
He called the result “a message to the government that hunting should be regulated and not abolished but crime never accepted.” He said the result showed that the “environmental agenda should be given higher priority. It was a message that civil society is autonomous and able to think away from policies.”
The result of the referendum was “a final chance that had been given to the hunters, probably the last one, and he would not any tolerate abuse.”
He added that “enforcement, shouldn’t just be down the to Police, it should also included all genuine hunters, particularly now that they realised that they were very close to losing their hobby.”
This hunting season, he said will be carrying with it great responsibilities. “The government,” said the Prime Minister, has already met with the police and the army for the enforcement of laws for the advent of the hunting season on Tuesday.”
The Prime Minister called for an open dialogue between hunters and environmentalists to come closer to each other.
Dr Muscat reiterated that he had once before, when laws were broken, stopped hunting, and he would be prepared to do this again.
Dr Simon Busuttil the Opposition Leader, said in a message, that he “welcomed the maturity shown during the referendum, with the outcome to be respected by all.”
Following the announcement of the results, Joe Percici Calascione the President of the FKNK, called for calm, he said that “we did not win anything, we just did not lose.” He also requested that no carcades be held.