Under the European Union’s Birds Directive, spring hunting is illegal so that species get a chance to breed and replenish their numbers. Under the same European law, all trapping using clap nets is illegal throughout the year.
In September 2009, the European Court of Justice found Malta guilty of breaking EU law by allowing spring hunting every year between 2004 and 2007. In spite of this, the government announced the opening of a six-day spring hunting season in 2010 . In 2011 Malta opened an even longer spring hunting season and in February 2012 the European Commission sent the Maltese government a "reasoned opinion", warning that the derogation of a trapping ban in 2011 had been illegal. Even so, Malta continues to ignore conservationists and European law. In March 2012 Ornis, the committee for the regulation of hunting and trapping in Malta, recommended an extended 1 month hunting and trapping season for spring 2012. We await the government's response to Ornis' recommendation.
If the government decides to open a longer spring hunting and even trapping season in spring 2012, the help of the public in reporting any illegal hunting and trapping incidents will be all the more vital.
Malta already risks being taken to the European Court of Justice again, and now faces the real possibility of fines.
What are your views on spring hunting?
What do you feel about the illegal hunting situation in Malta?
Share your experience with others on this web site: email@example.com
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