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More on the Maltese Hunting Season

Posted on 15th May 2015

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After my previous blog about the vote in Malta on the spring hunting season (which passed) there have been some developments. Two incidents were recently in the news:

  • A 16-year-old Dutch boy, on vacation in Malta, was slapped, and then shot with a shotgun, by a Maltese hunter. The hunter was arrested and charged. According to this report, this was the third incident in which a hunter was charged in this year's spring hunting season.
  • A bird shot by a hunter fell into a school yard amongst a group of children, as described in this report. Apparently, the children (aged between 7 and 10) were "traumatised". This seems to have been the final straw, and the hunting season was then closed early.

One has to wonder whether this kind of incident forms part of the Maltese hunting tradition, which was used to attempt justify the environmentally unsupportable decision to allow the spring hunt.

Perhaps I should be a little clearer about where I stand on all this. I am not against hunting. What I am against is hunting involving undue cruelty, hunting of endangered species, hunting during breeding and migration seasons, and hunting by people who do not have the necessary skills to do it safely and within the legal constraints (i.e. people who cannot avoid shooting Dutch boys and species of wildlife that are not in season).