The oldest piece of European legislation applicable to wildlife is ‘The Birds Directive’ and was passed into law in 1979.
The Birds Directive bans activities that directly threaten birds, such as the deliberate killing or capture of birds, the destruction of their nests and taking of their eggs, and associated activities such as trading in live or dead birds, with a few exceptions. The Directive recognises hunting as a legitimate activity and provides a comprehensive system for the management of hunting to ensure that this practice is sustainable. This includes a requirement to ensure that birds are not hunted during the periods of their greatest vulnerability, such as the return migration to the nesting areas, reproduction and the raising of chicks. It requires Member States to outlaw all forms of non-selective and large scale killing of birds.
You see. I’ve never quite understood exactly why Malta has been able to get away with the spring hunt. They seem to have some sort of immunity cloaking device more effective than that used on a Klingon ship. They are breaking European Law and getting away with it.
Anyways, shelve that thought for a moment.
Earlier this month all the pressure on the Maltese Government made by all our letters sent to our MP’s has paid off. The Maltese prime Minister has announced they are to hold a referendum to ask the Maltese people if they should continue with a Spring Hunt. As long as there is a 50%+ turnout the result will apparently pass into Maltese law and the Spring Hunt will either continue or it will stop. That is if the referendum is not rigged. A 2012 study revealed that 88 percent of Maltese saw corruption as a major problem in both politics and business.
The Maltese economy is heavily dependent on tourism Over 1.5 million tourists visit the island each year. What’s your largest expenditure each year? Is it your holiday? We’re talking about a lot of money.
I must admit when all this rawcuss kicked off years ago I was all for campaigning heavily against anyone visiting Malta for a holiday. That was until I was reminded that the majority of the Maltese didn’t want the shooting to continue and those people had a livelihood to maintain. However if the population of Malta does vote to continue the spring hunt … does that put a different slant on the argument?
The photo is from last summer and taken in Norfolk. Pertinent don’t you think?