Birdlife Appeal to Make 2014 Last Year of Spring Hunting in Malta
This evening, on the first day of the spring hunting season, BirdLife launched a new Stop Spring Hunting campaign appeal asking the Maltese people to help “make this the last spring hunting season in Malta”.
Appearing on Animal Diaries this evening, BirdLife Malta’s Christian Debono and Nicholas Barbara talked to Moira Delia about the impact of spring hunting on birds and on the Maltese countryside, and how people can support the campaign for a referendum to stop spring hunting.
“The referendum has emerged as the only way people in Malta can stand up for wildlife and for their own right to have safe access and use of the countryside in spring, when it is the best time to enjoy nature,” said Mr Debono, BirdLife’s Conservation and Policy Officer.
“Not everyone can help to protect birds directly by volunteering with BirdLife,” said Debono, “but everyone can support the referendum campaign and make sure that when the time comes, people get out and vote to stop spring hunting.”
The appeal is accompanied by a video animation, narrated by Moira Delia, explaining the impact spring hunting has on the European Turtle Dove, Gamiema in Maltese, one of the two species, along with Quail, Summiena, that can legally be hunted during Malta’s controversial spring hunting season. The video asks people to donate to and share the Stop Spring Hunting campaign fund via the Indiegogo fundraising page.
“Spring hunting is devastating for migrating birds,” said Mr Barbara, “especially for Turtle Doves, as their numbers are already falling drastically in Europe.”
BirdLife said that illegal hunting in spring is also still a serious problem that has yet to be brought under control.
This morning, BirdLife Malta’s Spring Watch volunteers spent their first morning in the countryside monitoring bird migration and hunting, recording evidence of illegal hunting and reporting incidents to police. “The season has barely even started, but as soon as the first shots were fired there were protected birds on the receiving end,” said Christian Debono, BirdLife’s Conservation and Policy Officer.