PRESS RELEASE BY THE PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARIAT FOR AGRICULTURE, FISHERIES AND ANIMAL RIGHTS: Autumn hunting season

Reference Number: PR171937en, Press Release Issue Date: Aug 29, 2017
 
As was the case also in previous years, according to Conservation of Wild Birds Regulations (S.L. 549.42) the hunting of birds on land shall be permitted between the 1st September and the 31st January, between two hours before sunrise and two hours after sunset on any day between Monday and Saturday, and between two hours before sunrise and 1pm on Sundays and Public Holidays. However the hunting of birds on land between the 15th September and the 7th October (inclusive of both dates) shall not be permitted from Monday to Saturday between 7 pm and two hours before sunrise of the following day. 

The same time restrictions also apply to the hunting of wild rabbit, which is permitted until 31st December.

The hunting of birds at sea shall be permitted between the 1st October and the 31st January during the same times as those applicable to hunting on land, provided that between the 1st October and 7th of October, inclusive of both dates, hunting at sea shall not be permitted from Monday to Saturday between 7 pm and two hours before sunrise of the following day.

Hunters can only hunt the species for which they are licensed according to their license category.

In line with the Legal Notice 69 of 2016, licensed hunters are required to report the birds caught via telephone reporting system prior to leaving the hunting area in accordance with instructions as stipulated in information booklet distributed together with hunting licenses. 

Due to re-classification of the legal status of Red Breasted Merganser (Mergus serrator) in 2016, the hunting of this species is no longer being allowed. Moreover, according to Legal Notice 77 of 2016, hunting of Turtle Doves (Streptopelia turtur) shall be permitted between 1st and 30th September only, subject to maximum national quota of 7,000 birds. Targeting of the Turtle Dove outside of this period is not permitted.

The Wild Birds Regulation Unit notes with satisfaction that exemplary improvements in compliance achieved over the past three years produced extremely visible positive change that was hardly conceivable in the past. However this progress, which is a result of cooperation between the government, members of the hunting community, and bird protection NGOs, needs to be further maintained and consolidated.

Whilst calling upon all hunters and hunting organizations to continue to adopt a zero-tolerance approach to illegalities, the Unit and other law enforcement entities shall continue to rigorously monitor and enforce compliance with applicable regulations through field surveillance, spot checks and inspections. 

While wishing a good season to all hunters, Parliamentary Secretary for Agriculture, Fisheries and Animal Rights Clint Camilleri calls for hunters to observe the laws so that hunting is after all safeguarded.