EU ISSUES FINAL WARNING -
SPRING HUNTING ON MALTA MUST BE BANNED- NOW!
The European Commission has sent Malta a final written warning ('Reasoned Opinion') regarding the practice of spring hunting
of wild birds, which is illegal under the EU Birds Directive.
This is very welcome news particularly since the Commission started legal action against Malta in 2006 based on a complaint
by BirdLife, which was recently strengthened with a letter-writing campaign urging the Commission to send this final warning
to the Maltese Government.
However, in spite of the infringement procedure opened in June 2006, Malta still allowed another spring hunting and trapping
season in 2007. Therefore, it is essential that we keep the pressure up to ensure that the Maltese Government will comply
with the Reasoned Opinion and will not open another spring hunting season in 2008.
WHAT YOU CAN DO!
Send an Email to the Prime Minister of Malta, Dr Lawrence Gonzi, asking him to respond to the Reasoned Opinion and to declare
the end to spring hunting in Malta once and for all.
A suggested text is given below (copy - click on "email to PM Lawrence Gonzi" and paste) but use your own words
if possible. The email link is copied to BirdLife Malta and Proact.
EMAIL LINK TO PM LAWRENCE GONZI
Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi
Dear Prime Minister Gonzi,
With the issue of a final written warning to Malta to ban the practice of spring hunting of wild birds, which is against
European Union law, the European Commission is only one step away from applying to the European Court of Justice for a financial
penalty to be imposed on your country.
You will be aware in this context that the Commission is halting legal proceedings against Cyprus regarding spring hunting,
following a commitment that hunting would not be permitted during this period in the future.
Allowing another spring hunting season in 2008 is not only a direct threat to the sustainability of huntable species populations,
returning from Africa for the breeding season; it also offers an alibi for the illegal killing by many Maltese hunters of
critically endangered and protected species as has happened in every open spring hunting season in the past.
We, the undersigned, therefore call on your government to respond immediately to the Commission's warning by officially
declaring the end of spring hunting in Malta, for 2008 and beyond.
In the confidence that you will bring Malta into line in this matter with all other member states off the European Union
(Name and Address)