Illegal hunting in Malta II

21 May 2013    
Nuno Melo (PPE)

This Member submitted question for written answer E‐2377/2010 to the Commission.

Commissioner Potočnik’s answer included the following: ‘On 9 April 2010, the Maltese Government adopted legislation permitting spring hunting of some 7 500 birds in Malta for one week at the end of April 2010. The legislation imposes a number of restrictions in relation to spring hunting and provides detailed measures for controlling spring hunting. The Commission considers that, in principle, the new legislation permitting spring hunting in 2010 appears to comply with the requirements of the judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Union. It is nevertheless essential to effectively enforce all the conditions set out in the new legislation (duration of the hunting season, the number of hunting licences and the number of birds to be hunted). This will be monitored by the Commission’.

The BBC recently reported that thousands of protected birds, such as bee-eaters, harriers and cuckoos, are still being illegally killed during the hunting season as they migrate from Malta, in the Mediterranean, to mainland Europe.
Can the Commission state:
1.     What is its view of the implementation of the hunting legislation in force in the Maltese archipelago?
2.     Does the Commission have figures for the number of birds illegally killed?

8 July 2013    
Answer given by Mr Potočnik on behalf of the Commission

The Commission is in contact with the Maltese authorities who have provided information on the planned reform of the relevant enforcement structures, including the setting up of a specialised Wildlife Crime Unit, which will be fully and exclusively dedicated to enforcement of wildlife regulations, including regulations related to hunting. The Commission has been in regular contact with national authorities with a view to improve enforcement through concrete action. The Commission believes this should also reduce the considerable gaps between the alleged figures and the official figures facts established. Finally, the Commission would refer the Honourable Member to its answers to written questions E-347/2013 by Mr Ashley Fox and E-4289/2013 by Mr Andrea Zanoni.