The Malta Independent 29 May 2024, Wednesday
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How can killing birds in spring during breeding season be sustainable? – BirdLife

Tuesday, 21 March 2023, 07:36 Last update: about 2 years ago

How can the killing of birds in spring during their breeding season in any way be sustainable, Birdlife Malta has asked.

BirdLife CEO Mark Sultana was asked for a reaction to comments made by Labour MEP Alex Agius Saliba in an interview with The Malta Independent.


Spring hunting and trapping go hand in hand with the protection of birds and their habitats, if done in a sustainable manner, PL MEP Alex Agius Saliba said.

“I don’t believe that spring hunting per se is against EU rules, if it is practised in a sustainable manner. This is a big mistake we make when it comes to conservation. Hunters and trappers play a very important role in conservation, which has also been accepted by the EU Commission,” the Labour MEP said.

Asked to comment, BirdLife Malta CEO Mark Sultana stated that “it has become very common to see the words ‘sustainability’ or ‘sustainable’ abused by those who want to greenwash any activity which is harmful to biodiversity and nature.

“How can killing birds in spring during their breeding season in any way be sustainable, let alone when the species is in a vulnerable status like the Turtle-dove (Gamiema)?”, Sultana added.

“It is also absurd to try and convince that trapping and hunting actually help in protecting birds. MEP Alex Agius Saliba has become a strong lobbyist for hunting in spring and trapping, which - unlike what he says - go directly against the European Birds Directive.”

Sultana added that MEP Agius Saliba's sentiment, aimed to attract a number of votes from the hunting community, is not commonly shared within the Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament.

“While BirdLife Malta has no lobbyists at EU level, its arguments remain solid and convincing because they are based on science and facts, rather than gimmicks and words that try to depict destructive actions as if they were conservation ones," Sultana said.

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