The hunting lobby is calling on the government to hold a stand-alone spring hunting referendum. Hunters’ federation (FKNK) president Joe Perici Calascione said he expected the referendum not to be tied to any other national votes.

“I expect a stand-alone referendum, because that is when people really voice their opinion on an issue – not when a vote is held together with something completely unrelated,” he said.

He was speaking ahead of a march in Valletta today in which the FKNK is expected to present a petition calling on the government to prevent the Referenda Act being used to trample on “minority rights and practices”.

The campaign was triggered by a successful drive by the Coalition Against Spring Hunting to force an abrogative referendum to abolish spring hunting.

The coalition gathered some 40,000 signatures – 7,000 more than the 10 per cent of the electorate required by law – to hold a referendum.

The FKNK president was still coy about the exact number of signatures on the FKNK petition but said it was more than double the 40,000 signatures collected by the other side.

Instead of using the signatures to block the proposed referendum, however, Mr Perici Calascione said the FKNK would be lobbying parliamentarians to support the federation in the event of a referendum.

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