SPRING HUNTING ON MALTA AND
CYPRUS MUST CEASE - NOW!
Malta continues to defy the European Commission and permits spring shooting of Turtle Dove and Quail. The inevitable consequence
is a renewed mass slaughter of migratory birds - most of them belonging to endangered populations and including some rare
Cyprus, another recent addition to the European 'family', has now unilaterally permitted spring shooting of Turtle Dove.
It is to be feared that this example will be followed by other countries, where hunters have repeatedly called for a weakening
of the Bird Protection Guidelines.
WHAT CAN BE DONE?
The EC, in the person of the Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas, must once again be urged to take immediate
and effective action - including the imposition of monetary sanctions - to put an end to the slaughter of migrant birds on
Malta. This renewed and intolerable onslaught on European bird populations is a direct consequence of the Maltese Government's
illegal granting of permits for spring hunting of Turtle Dove and Quail.
The unilateral, and equally illegal action by
the Government of Cyprus permitting spring shooting of Turtle Dove must also be stopped and penalties imposed.
A draft letter is available below. Send it (or one with your own concerns and suggestions) via the link
provided or by post or fax to the EU Commissioner for the Environment Stavros Dimas.
Use the European Parliament address link to get contact details for your national or regional MEPs and write,
mail or fax them as well. The more the merrier!
Addresses in clear:
*Letters from the Proact Team - some 900 signatures - were sent by
post to Commissioner Dimas on 09 May 2007
Mr Stavros Dimas
EC Commissioner for the Environment
Dear Commissioner Dimas,
It would be tragic if the Birds Directive, after over 30 years of increasingly effective protection for Europe's bird
populations, is undermined and rendered meaningless during your term of office.
Ornithologists, birdwatchers and nature lovers in Europe and elsewhere have watched with increasing disbelief how Malta,
since accession to the EU, has continually ignored criticism from the latter's official organs, from non-governmental organisations
throughout Europe and countless private individuals on the subject of spring hunting and the much discussed and controversial
derogations for trapping and shooting of Quail and Turtle Dove. It has been clear to many, other than your directorate, that
there is a clear and undeniable causal link between permissible hunting on Malta and the regular massacre of migrant birds;
most of them endangered species and some of them with rare and declining populations. This must be stopped and only the European
Commission has the power to achieve this if the Government of Malta continues to ignore European legislation, remains submissive
up to the hunters' and trappers' lobby, and fails to enforce even its own laws.
You must act now! The latest reports in the Maltese and European news media of bird slaughter, in print and picture, must
be evidence enough. This public and uncontrollable massacre of Europe's bird species must come to an end - as soon as possible.
Your hesitance and inaction to date has only served to encourage the Maltese Government in their obstinacy.
The first consequences, as many of us have forecast, are now evident. Cyprus, another recent addition to the European
family, has also approved the re-introduction of spring bird hunting for Turtle Doves. They too must be called to account
immediately. Failure to act on your part will further weaken resolve in other European countries. The newest members, Bulgaria
and Romania, have much room for improvement in the field of nature protection and the traditional hunters in the Mediterranean
littoral, France, Italy and Spain, will use any and every excuse to resume wide-scale annual shooting of migrant bird species
We are sitting on an environmental powder keg of our own making. Only you, Commissioner Dimas, can defuse it.
I/we appeal to you to take immediate, forceful and decisive action to enforce the Birds Directive in ALL countries of
the European Union. The damage to our bird populations has already been done - it is now essential that what we still have
In the hope that you will put an end to the slaughter on Malta, prevent further decimation of our migrant birds in Cyprus,
and take action to enforce the Birds Directive throughout the enlarged community I/we remain,
(Name and Address)