10/01/2015
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Malta allows referendum on spring hunting

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The Maltese Constitutional Court has decided to allow a referendum on spring hunting on the island, after pressure from the public and conservationists.

The Coalition for the Abolition of Spring Hunting was reported to be happy with the decision, say it was witnessing history in the making. Over 40,000 Maltese voters supported the idea of the referendum in a petition.

Campaign Co-ordinator for the Coalition, Romina Tolu, said to BirdLife Malta: "The process which has led to this morning's decision by the courts was a particularly lengthy one in which the hunting lobby tried to delay and mislead the people and the courts time and time again. It is now crystal clear that the legislation in question is not an EU treaty obligation, and it is more than evident that the hunting lobby were clutching at loose strings from the start."

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Four shot Quail in Malta (Lars Soerink).

Conservationists were universally please with the decision for the Maltese electorate to be able to vote on an important national issue in Malta. The vast majority of the Maltese public have been shown repeatedly to be against spring hunting, but a vocal and increasingly violent minority has appeared to have the ears of some powerful Maltese politicians. BirdLife Malta hopes to see: "an end to the concessions and backroom deals made between politicians and the hunting lobby at the cost of our migratory birds".

The Government is currently waiting for a date to be set for the referendum by the President. After which, it is to be hoped that a hearty campaign will begin.

Written by: BirdLife Malta