End the Spring Migration Hunting in Malta

37,002 signatures toward our 45,000 Goal

82.23% Complete

Sponsor: The Rainforest Site

Tell Commissioner for the Environment Karmenu Vella to stop Malta's flagrant disregard of the EU's Birds Directive.


Each year during the annual spring migration, thousands of birds are shot in Malta.

The Birds Directive is the European Union's oldest piece of nature legislation. It is designed to protect wild birds indigenous to the region, recognizing that the wild birds, including migratory birds, are part of Europe's shared natural heritage. Malta, however, misapplies an exemption from the Birds Directive which makes it the only European Union country that allows recreational spring hunting.

The derogation which allows Maltese hunters to hunt migrating birds was designed to protect public health and safety. The misapplication of the exemption every year results in the deaths thousands of vulnerable species such as quail and turtle dove which travel through Malta en route to their summer habitats. These vulnerable species are protected in other European nations, but inadequate protections in Malta during the spring hunt means they are often targets. Although the European Court of Justice ruled that Malta had repeatedly and illegally allowed spring hunting to take place, the European Commission (EC) is refusing to take action to stop it.

It's time to end Malta's abuse of the Birds Directive. Sign the petition calling on Commissioner for the Environment Karmenu Vella to enforce the European Court of Justice's decision to make all of Europe's skies safe for migrating birds.

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The Petition:

Dear Commissioner Karmenu Vella,

I am writing you to ask that you stop Malta's misapplication of a derogation which allows their citizens to shoot migratory birds each spring. The European Court of Justice ruled that Malta had repeatedly and illegally allowed spring hunting to take place. Now, Europe's migratory birds need your support to ensure the spring hunts in Malta end.

The Birds Directive derogation which allows Maltese hunters to hunt migrating birds was designed to protect public health and safety. The misapplication of the exemption every year results in the deaths thousands of members of vulnerable species such as quail and turtle dove which travel through Malta en route to their summer habitats. These vulnerable species are protected in other European nations, but inadequate protections in Malta during the spring hunt means they are often targets.

Malta is now the only European Union country that allows recreational spring hunting. It's time to make preservation and conservation the priority in the entire European Union. There can be no exceptions. Not for Malta, or any other EU member. Please stand by the European Court of Justice's decision and stop the spring hunts.

Thank you for your time,

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