BLM gives its reaction to new licencing & carnet de chasse procedures

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BLM gives its reaction to new licencing & carnet de chasse proceduresBirdLife Malta has given its reaction to the press statement issued today by WBRU regarding new licencing and carnet de chasse procedures.

BLM is referring to the announcement by the Parliamentary Secretary for Agriculture, Fisheries and Animal Rights, Roderick Galdes, that new game licenses being launched next week, “will reduce bureaucracy and enable more effective and immediate enforcement.”

BLM said that it is pleased that from all the proposed amendments issued for pubic consultation last November, and to which BirdLife Malta reacted to in December, “only these changes which are being stated as administrative have come to force.”

“BLM are in discussion with the Ministry concerned and are hopeful of finding ways of stopping the weakening of the Conservation of Wild Birds Regulations,” it said.

“While the reduction of fees for hunting licenses is a political decision, BirdLife Malta has already made clear with the Parliamentary Secretary its concerns about the new system for registering hunting catches.”

BLM added, that “these include the fact that checks in place to ensure that hunters are adequately reporting their catches, will now more than ever rely on the enforcement afforded by the already stretched ALE unit within the Malta Police Force.”

“Other concerns include the fact that the electronic game reporting system falls short of providing information on hunting effort. In the old carnet de chasse system hunters were obliged to also record hunting days when no catches were made, a valuable statistic useful for authorities to report on hunting seasons and derogations.”

BirdLife Malta concluded by saying that, “it appears the new system will not cater for collecting this valuable statistic which would otherwise help authorities gauge the latest trends in hunting effort.”

Galdes in a press conference this morning had explained that this new procedure “will be real-time and will automatically log the number and the species of game hunted. All the hunters have to do is text the number on the booklet provided to the number provided, and the statistics will be logged on the database.”

The current system of Carnet de Chasse booklet collection with an attached license will be replaced with a general hunting license in the form of a plastic card including the person’s details and photograph.

He said that, this will not only save time in terms of booklet collection and manual processing at the end of the season, but will also facilitate the identification of hunters by police who will be checking licenses, as is done nowadays.

“Changes have also been made to hunting and trapping licences. 14,000 persons will now no longer need to go to Maltapost to renew their licences. A licence will now be valid for five years, and will be issued in the form of an Identity Card with a photograph and details of the hunter or trapper,” Galdes said.

“This will allow Police, through a tablet connected to the Wild Birds Regulation Unit system, to check details from the field or trapping area regarding the individual hunter’s or trapper’s catch for the season,” he said.

The fee for this new 5 year general license, available from next week and payable at MaltaPost, will be as follows: (1) five-year license to hunt birds on land: €50; (2) five-year license to hunt birds at sea: €50; (3) five-year license to hunt wild rabbits: €50; (4) five-year license to capture wild rabbit with nets: €25; (5) five-year general live-capturing license: €50. The above fees imply that hunters or live-capturers presently holding one category of licence only will be paying 50% less over a five-year period when compared to present fees.

In order to qualify for this 5-year renewal, applicants must, by the time of application at MaltaPost on the above mentioned dates, already be in possession of the valid license pertaining to the category of license that has to be renewed.

For hunting to be practised, one has still to ensure that he is covered by a valid membership in a hunting organisation, a valid insurance policy, and has a police weapon permit for the year in which hunting will be carried out. Hunting during any derogation will require a separate special license issued specifically for that year when the derogation is applied. Similar requirements also apply in the case of live-capturing licences.

Birds and wild rabbit caught during the respective open hunting and live-capturing seasons will need to be reported through a voice guided telephone system which will then automatically send a confirmation SMS as proof of report.

Further instructions on correct usage of the telephone system will be distributed in a form of a pocket-size booklet with each new five-year license.

In case of queries, one can contact the Wild Birds Regulation Unit on tel: 22926401/02/03; email: wildbirds@gov.mt or in person at 122, Triq Misrah il-Barrieri, Santa Venera.

Collection of Carnet de Chasse

The Wild Birds Regulation Unit reminds all licensed hunters and live-capturers that the law (S.L.504.71) requires that duly filled valid Carnet de Chasse booklets for 2015/2016 are to be returned after the end of the season. Henceforth, Carnet de Chasse booklets will be accepted at any MaltaPost branch in Malta and Gozo between Monday 18th January 2016 and Saturday 13th February 2016 during normal branch hours.

Failure to return completed Carnet de Chasse by Saturday 13th February 2016 would result in a fine of €75, which if not settled within 21 days, will lead to criminal proceedings being taken before the Courts, in which the minimum penalty that may be imposed in such cases is that of €500. Licenses will not be renewed until all penalties are settled.

In the case of persons licensed with a special finch live-capturing license for 2015 season, the law (S.L. 504/124) also requires that any single-use ring (white, green or metal) that has not been utilised during the season must be returned together with the Carnet de Chasse.

A refund of €0.50 per returned ring shall be given. A fine of €5 per each unreturned ring will be issued.

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