Autumn hunting season opens Friday, hunters urged to observe laws
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The autumn hunting season opens on Friday until the 31st of January, and the Wild Birds Regulation Unit said that it “noted with satisfaction that exemplary improvements in compliance achieved over the past three years produced extremely visible positive change that was hardly conceivable in the past.”
“However this progress, which is a result of cooperation between the government, members of the hunting community, and bird protection NGOs, needs to be further maintained and consolidated,” it added.
The WBRU stated that, “whilst calling upon all hunters and hunting organisations to continue to adopt a zero-tolerance approach to illegalities, the Unit and other law enforcement entities will continue to rigorously monitor and enforce compliance with applicable regulations through field surveillance, spot checks and inspections.”
Parliamentary Secretary for Agriculture, Fisheries and Animal Rights Clint Camilleri, wished a good season to all hunters, while also urging hunters “to observe the laws so that hunting is after all safeguarded.”
The Parliamentary Secretariat for Agriculture, Fisheries and Animal Righs, “as was the case also in previous years, the hunting of birds on land is permitted between two hours before sunrise and two hours after sunset on any day between Monday and Saturday, and between two hours before sunrise and 1pm on Sundays and Public Holidays.”
It said that the hunting of birds on land between the 15th September and the 7th October (inclusive of both dates) is not permitted from Monday to Saturday between 7 pm and two hours before sunrise of the following day.
The same time restrictions also apply to the hunting of wild rabbit, which is permitted until the 31st December.
Hunting birds at sea is permitted between the 1st October and the 31st January during the same times as those applicable to hunting on land,.
However, between the 1st October and 7th of October, inclusive of both dates, hunting at sea is not permitted from Monday to Saturday between 7 pm and two hours before sunrise of the following day, the Secretariat said.
It pointed out that hunters can only hunt the species for which they are licensed according to their license category.
“Licensed hunters are required to report the birds caught via telephone reporting system prior to leaving the hunting area in accordance with instructions as stipulated in information booklet distributed together with hunting licenses,” the Secretariat said.
It added that due to re-classification of the legal status of Red Breasted Merganser (Mergus serrator) in 2016, the hunting of this species is no longer being allowed.
Turtle Dove hunting is only permitted between 1st and 30th September, subject to maximum national quota of 7,000 birds. Targeting of the Turtle Dove outside of this period is not permitted, the Secretariat stated.