Autumn hunting for Turtle Dove is an unsatisfactory solution – KSU

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Autumn hunting for Turtle Dove is an unsatisfactory solution - KSUKaccaturi San Ubertu (KSU) has written an open letter to the EU Environment Commissioner Karmenu Vella, in which it said that “the 2018 season has yet again proved to be an unsatisfactory solution for the hunting of Turtle Dove for Maltese hunters where the absolute majority failed to even see a dove.”

It went on to say that the turtle dove hunting season, which came to an end on September the 30th was characterised by “a total lack of Turtle Dove over the Maltese islands.”

In the letter, which was signed by the KSU President Mark Mifsud Bonnici, it said that it noted “the Vulnerable Status of the Turtle Dove, that led to the unique statement by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), and subsequently to your endorsement, declaring that in order to save the Turtle Dove from a real threat of extinction, IUCN has requested the Commission to apply an urgent moratorium on spring hunting of the species in Malta.”

KSU remarked on what it described as “the irony of such a statement aimed at preventing a harvest of a maximum quota of 5,000 Turtle Dove under derogation in spring when at the time figures available to the Commission confirmed 2 to 3 million shot each autumn by other states were of no concern to the IUCN as a real threat.”

KSU argued in the letter that it had noted “blatant anomalies that result in the reclassification as Vulnerable among which the method used when estimating European Turtle Dove individuals.”

“This scenario ultimately results in the blatant discrimination of Maltese hunters to hunt this species in satisfactory numbers unlike their European counterparts,” it added.

The KSU continued by saying, “we therefore urge the Maltese Government and the hunting organisations no longer to make promises to hunters on spring hunting which cannot be fulfilled and which will only lead to disappointment or even aggression.”

“KSU calls upon your office to see that justice is served upon the underprivileged Maltese hunters where the hunting of turtle dove has now only remained the privilege of the few able to afford the luxury of satisfactory autumn hunting in mainland EU states,” it said.

The letter concluded by said that, “clearly leaving Birdlife up to its own devices will never see the return of our traditional Turtle Dove spring hunt they vehemently oppose materialise.”

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