The hunters federation (FKNK) has urged Malta's six MEPs to vote against a European Commission proposal to restrict lead in gunshot in the proximity of wetlands. A vote may be taken in the European Parliament later this week. 

It said that while it is not against a gradual reduction in the use of lead in gunshot, the commission's proposal breaches the fundamental rights of more than 10 million hunters in Europe, including some 20,000 in Malta.  

In terms of the proposal, anyone found carrying lead ammunition within 100 metres of a wetland will need to prove his innocence, overturning the principle of presumption of innocence, the federation said.

European hunters are insisting that the proposal should be sent back to REACH - the committee on European Regulation on Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals.  

In September, Malta was among six countries which voted against the proposal within the committee natbut a majority of EU countries voted in favour.

The FKNK said at the time that if the proposal becomes law, lead in gunshot would have to end in small countries such as Malta.

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