Enforcement during 2014 spring hunting season
Since the beginning of spring hunting season for turtle dove and quail on Saturday 12th April, around 70 law enforcement officers deployed in the field to monitor the countryside between 0500 and 1400 hours conducted over 530 spot-checks on hunters to ensure compliance with the pertinent regulations and conditions of special spring hunting license. These spot-checks were conducted in addition to several hundred routine patrols and inspections carried out during and after permitted hunting hours. During the course of these inspections, since Saturday 12th April, a total of 12 suspected offenders were apprehended: 3 on the 12th, 1 on the 13th, 2 on the 14th; 1 on the 15th and 5 on the 16th of April.
Around 37 enforcement officers have been deployed to monitor the countryside after permitted hunting hours until 2130. The joint Police / AFM enforcement operation is supported by the Specialist Enforcement Branch of the Wild Birds Regulation Unit on a 24 hour basis.
A total of 15 offences have been disclosed since the start of the season until Wednesday 16th April. The offences comprised 2 cases of illegal trapping; 2 cases involving hunting within prohibited distances; 2 cases of possession of a shotgun capable of holding more than two rounds in its magazine; one case of an overloaded shotgun; 2 cases of possession of cartridges loaded with lead shots exceeding the permissible size in diameter, a case involving the shooting a protected bird (Swallow); a case of possession of pre-recorded bird calls during hunting activity and 4 cases of failure to declare going out hunting on the Carnet de Chasse booklet. Suspects are being prosecuted.
Field surveillance was supported by the use of an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) on the 12th, 14th, 15th and 16th April. Since the start of the season and until Wednesday, the drone flew 10 sorties ranging between 15 and 30 minutes each over protected areas during times when hunting was not permitted.