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In March the Federation for Hunting and Conservation – Malta (FKNK) submitted its proposals for the spring season 2024 for discussion at the next meeting of the Malta Ornis Committee.  In this meeting the Committee must decide whether to recommend to the Minister the proposal of the FKNK to apply derogations to permit the traditional hunting of turtle dove and quail in April 2024, as well as to carry out research regarding the migration of turtle doves by the traditional means of turtle doves clap-nets’ live-capturing (trapping) during the same period.

These proposals were detailed in a document submitted by the FKNK, which evidence the positive results regarding the sustainability of turtle dove hunting in Malta.  These results come from the surveys that the FKNK organised, with the voluntary help of a number of members, during the turtle dove hunting seasons in September 2021 and in that of 2022, as well as through the scientific study that the FKNK, once more with the voluntary involvement of some members, undertook during the turtle dove hunting seasons in April 2022 and in that of 2023.  In the same document the successes achieved through the FKNK Turtle Dove Project are also detailed, not just in relation to the possibility of adding Bulgaria and Kosovo to the so-called "reference population countries", but that the Project achieved one of its main objectives as a result of the amount of released turtle doves into the wild over the years, that has amply fulfilled the Project’s "compensatory measure" purpose.

Once BirdLife Malta (BLM) became aware of the FKNK proposals they hastily drew-up, published and filed a report with the Malta Ornis Committee, in their latest struggle to propose a blanket-cover abolition throughout the whole year of turtle dove hunting in the Maltese islands.

The BLM’s report is heavily packed with inaccuracies, misconceptions, half-truths, fact-twisting declarations and statistics that verge on heresies, and so the FKNK has published a counter “Critique” report which has also been submitted to the Malta Ornis Committee.  The FKNK “Critique” demonstrates that BLM’s latest strive to completely abolish the traditional socio-cultural passions of turtle doves hunting and live-capturing from the Maltese islands, renders BLM’s report just that, BLM’s newest scuffle towards abolition and nothing to do with any concern about the conservation status of the turtle dove, besides exposing BLM’s close alliance with the EU Commission.

The FKNK “Critique” can be downloaded from this LINK

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