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Ornis committee turns down FKNK proposal to lift moratorium on shooting of turtle dove

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A proposal by the hunting federation to lift the moratorium on the shooting of turtle dove during the upcoming spring hunting season was today turned down by the Ornis Committee.

Last week, the committee agreed on opening a spring hunting season for quail, between 10 and 30 April. The FKNK had also proposed allowing the shooting of turtle dove between 15 and 30 April.

Birdlife Malta had said that the dates of a quail hunting season would coincide directly with the peak turtle dove migration, arguing that it could serve as a smokescreen for turtle dove.

The committee had decided to take some time to go over the FKNK proposal and a vote was taken today.  

While the FKNK voted in favour of its proposal, BirdLife Malta and the ERA representatives voted against, with the three Government appointees and the Chairman abstaining from voting.  FKNK’s proposal was thus not carried, FKNK said in a statement.

“Whereas Malta is the only EU Member State, out of the ten countries where the turtle dove is hunted, which imposed a Moratorium on the spring hunting of the species, whilst the other nine States did not impose a moratorium on their autumn hunting seasons as had been proposed by the EU Commission; and since Malta is also the only State with a European Court of Justice verdict of 10 September 2009 (Case C-76/08) which stated that the autumn hunt in Malta is not a satisfactory alternative solution to the spring hunt; on the basis of its Report, the FKNK has also urged Government to immediately open discussions with the EU Commission for a long term solution to be reached on the matter,” FKNK said.  

A vote taken in this regard was carried when the FKNK, the Chairman and the three Government appointees voted for the motion.  This proposal will now be recommended to the Minister for implementation, FKNK said. 

Original article found on The Malta Independent

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