ADPD has hit out at both the Labour and Nationalist parties over their positions on spring hunting, accusing them of being so “terrified of the hunting lobby” that they are no longer able to tell right from wrong.
Through its chairman Carmel Cacopardo, ADPD emphasised the need for a “change in narrative” around spring hunting. Besides preventing the public from enjoying the countryside, ADPD said the practice may also result in costly legal ramifications for the country.
“Malta, because of its incompetent governments, has already faced infringement procedures on sprint hunting in the past and will most probably have to face the music yet once more.”
The party condemned what it described as vote-catching tactics employed by the two parties.
“These two parties are so terrified of the hunting lobby, that they are incapable of distinguishing right from wrong. It is unbelievable, that both parties are actively bragging about allowing hunters to kill birds during their nesting period. Birdlife Malta is to be thanked for its perseverance in standing up for nature in the face of the arrogance of the Parliamentary parties and their friends.”
Earlier this month, the Ornis Committee voted to allow the season to open on 10th April, running till the end of the month.
The move has raised concerns about illegal hunting, given that the police resources which would normally have been deployed to monitor the countryside are currently occupied by the national effort to combat the spread of COVID-19.
According to BirdLife Malta, the number of protected species shot during last year’s season – which took place under the same conditions – was more than triple the average in preceding years.
ADPD said it considered the protection of biodiversity a national priority, adding that the dedication BirdLife Malta had shown to ensuring Malta shouldered its responsibilities was commendable. It stressed that the EU Birds’ Directive clearly outlaws spring hunting, given that the practice is “unsustainable at best and destructive at worst”.
BirdLife filed a judicial protest on Saturday against the opening of the upcoming season, in which it argued that a lack of reporting on the part of hunters in previous seasons meant that the criteria required for the season to open had not been met.
ADPD said that despite the practice being outlawed, it was still commonplace in Malta.
“While the Directive provides for the possibility of a derogation in limited circumstances, this needs to be based on several strict criteria, amongst which are the strict supervision of hunting activities, and reliable data reporting. Clearly, these strict criteria are not being followed,” the party said.
Do you agree with ADPD’s position?