Hunting enthusiasts are confident that the decision to open the spring hunting season would be announced in the coming days, with the legal notice regulating the hunting of quail for sport to be published shortly.

Lino Farrugia, the president of the Federation for Hunting and Conservation Malta, told Times of Malta on Saturday that it has so far been indicated to the group that the season would open as scheduled on April 10.

On Thursday, the Ornis committee voted to approve opening the season for quail between April 10 and 30 in line with recommendations made the previous year.

Police sources have expressed concern that the manpower required to police the hunting season would stretch the thin resources in the ALE section, which is currently tasked with enforcing restrictions made in efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19.

“While the committee has recommended that the season be opened, the final decision still rests on the environment minister,” Farrugia said.

“There have been instances in the past where a minister has chosen to decide against the committee’s recommendations, but we are chasing for answers and heeding the committee’s recommendations.

“I am confident the season will be opening as scheduled,” he said. He added that a clause in the legislation says the derogation may be published up to two days before the opening of the season in exceptional circumstances.

“I would say we are living in exceptional circumstances at the moment, so it’s not surprising that the decision has yet to be made.”

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