BirdLife this evening launched a new Stop Spring Hunting campaign appeal calling on the Maltese to help “make this the last spring hunting season in Malta”.

Appearing on Animal Diaries, BirdLife Malta’s Christian Debono and Nicholas Barbara talked to Moira Delia about the impact of spring hunting on birds and the Maltese countryside, and how people could support the campaign for a referendum to stop spring hunting.

“The referendum has emerged as the only way people in Malta can stand up for wildlife and for their own right to have safe access and use of the countryside in spring, when it is the best time to enjoy nature,” Mr Debono, BirdLife’s conservation and policy said.

“Everyone can support the referendum campaign and make sure that when the time comes, people get out and vote to stop spring hunting.”

The appeal is accompanied by a video animation, narrated by Ms Delia, explaining the impact spring hunting has on the European turtle dove, one of the two species, along with quail, that can legally be hunted during Malta’s controversial spring hunting season.

The video asks people to donate to and share the Stop Spring Hunting campaign fund via the Indiegogo fundraising page.

“Spring hunting is devastating for migrating birds, especially turtle doves, as their numbers are already falling drastically in Europe, Mr Barbara said.

This morning, BirdLife Malta’s Spring Watch volunteers spent their first morning in the countryside monitoring bird migration and hunting, recording evidence and reporting incidents to police.

“The season has barely even started, but as soon as the first shots were fired there were protected birds on the receiving end,” Mr Debono said.

More information about what is illegal during the spring hunting season and how to report illegal hunting and injured birds is available on BirdLife Malta’s website.


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