The Government announced it will apply the derogation for the opening of the quail hunting season from the 10th to the 30th April 2019, both dates included, from two hours before sunrise up to mid-day, with a national quota of 5,000 quails.
A statement by the Secretariat for Animal Rights said that the daily individual quota will be removed and also the season’s individual quota.
It was pointed that the decision was taken after the Government evaluated the recommendations presented by the ORNIS committee following a meeting held on the 20th March 2019.
At today’s meeting regarding turtle dove hunting, the ORNIS committee rejected the request presented by FKNK for the application of the derogation to open the season concerned during spring of 2019. The decision was taken due to the fact that the turtle doves population was classified by IUCN as in a state of vulnerable conservation. However, following a FKNK request, ORNIS recommended to the Government to start discussions with the European Commission for a long-term sustainable solution with regards to the derogation on turtle dove hunting in spring. It was pointed out that these discussions will be aimed to determine the principles on which the derogation is applied in the future for turtle dove hunting in spring, as the Government has already done with regards to the song thrush and golden plovers.
The statement said that the Government remains committed to protect Maltese practices with full respect towards the applicable regulations and also towards the sustainability of this practice.
Reacting, Birdlife Malta expressed its satisfaction that the ORNIS committee realized the importance to protect the dove and invited the Prime Minister to take the best decision with regards to spring hunting.