BirdLife writes to Prime Minister, insisting the turtle dove should be protected all year round
22 March 2019, 12:58pm
by Laura Calleja
BirdLife Malta has written to Prime Minister Joseph Muscat objecting to any changes to the spring hunting season in terms of dates, and also huntable species.
This is in response to recommendations made by the Ornis Committee earlier in the week, to the government for the season to be opened between the 10 and 30 April.
The NGO said that a hunting season for quail during these dates will coincide with the peak migration of the turtle dove. "This will only serve as a smokescreen for hunters to illegally target the turtle dove," the bird conservation group insisted.
Moreover, it said the dates proposed for the 2019 spring hunting season had been moved further backwards when compared to last year’s, which saw the spring hunting season open from 1 to 21 April. The new dates will overlap further onto the period when turtle doves migrate over the Maltese islands.
In the letter, Birdlife referred to the report presented by the hunting lobby calling for the lifting of the moratorium on the hunting of turtle dove in spring. The Ornis Committee will decide on the proposal by the hunting lobby at a meeting next Tuesday.