MEP Andrea Zanoni has called on the European Commission to block the spring hunting derogation for Malta.

In a Parliamentary question the MEP said that thousands of quails and turtle doves were at risk and the controls provided by the Malta's authorities were ridiculous.

"The EU could prevent yet another massacre of migratory birds in Malta through an urgent appeal to the European Court of Justice," the MEP, who is the vice-president of the European Parliament’s Animal Welfare Intergroup said.

He said it was “unacceptable that a European country violated European law so blatantly by opening fire on thousands of migratory birds."

Mr Zanoni said he had personally taken part in a watch with the Committee Against Bird Slaughter last October, after which he denounced the state of lawlessness of hunting in Malta.

"I ask the European Commission to take urgent action and to react to this new infringement through the European Court of Justice for spring hunting to stop immediately and for Maltese authorities to be fined."

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