Half of MEP candidates against derogation on spring hunting

first_img SharePrint Just over half of the MEP candidates responding to a Birdlife Malta survey, said they would not support Malta derogating from the EU’s Nature Directives to support spring hunting and trapping.In a set of surveys carried out by Birdlife Malta to gauge candidate’s positions on environmental priorities, 4 out of the 7 responses obtained by Newsbook.com.mt, clearly show disagreement over the question of derogation.Consider, Promote and EndorseThe surveys, which were supplied to the 41 candidates running in the European Parliamentary Elections, outline 5 local and global environmental and conservation priorities that Birdlife Malta wish the candidates should ‘consider, promote and endorse’.Those whose surveys Newsbook.com.mt has obtained pertain to Alternattiva Demokratika’s Chairman Carmel Cacopardo, the Nationalists Michael Briguglio and Peter Agius, Partit Demokratika’s leader Godfrey Farrugia and Martin Cauchi Inglott and the Independent candidates Arnold Cassola and Antoine Borg of Brain Not Ego.Fishing at national levelNewsbook.com.mt previously reported on how 5 of these candidates responded to questions regarding the EU’s policies on protecting Malta’s marine habitats and fishing and the increasing of EU budgets towards the protection of biodiversity and natural ecosystems.In the former case, 4 out of the 5 respondents from the original surveys obtained, felt that the issue should be dealt with on a national level.Should fishing and marine planning be resolved at the European level?With the addition of the two extra questionnaires, it appears that besides to over half disagreeing with derogation for Spring Hunting, there are also calls for sustainability.Candidates were asked…‘If there is one piece of legislation that all the EU agrees that it is healthy and relevant, these are the Nature Directives (Birds and Habitats). Are you comfortable with Malta derogating from these Directives solely for the enjoyment of a small part of the population such as for hunting in spring and trapping? Especially when hunting is done during the spring migration when birds are heading to their breeding grounds, and even more importantly when many of these, like the Turtle Dove, are in decline and declared as vulnerable by the EU and IUCN?’This is how they responded…Michael Briguglio – Partit NazzjonalistaBriguglio flat out states that he does ‘not agree with spring hunting,’ adding that, ‘Malta should adhere to EU policy and national legislation to protect nature.’Arnold Cassola – IndependentCassola is brief and blunt in his response, saying that he would ‘Definitely not!,’ support derogation. Cassola also adds that he has been ‘consistent’ on this during his three decades in politics.Antoine Borg – Brain Not EgoFellow Independent candidate Antoine Borg explains that he too is not supportive of ‘any derogation if it is just for entertainment. There are many other better arguments for derogations but this is not one of them.’ Borg instead stresses that people ‘as long as laws are respected,’ people, ‘can continue to enjoy their hobby.’Martin Cauchi Inglott – Partit Demokratiku Cauchi Inglott states that he too is, ‘not comfortable with Malta derogating from these Directives solely for the enjoyment of a small part of the population such as for hunting in spring and trapping.’ He adds that he ‘can just about tolerate sustainable hunting because it is abused locally.’CABSWhile the above candidates are against a derogation for Malta, the following candidates believe in sustainability.Peter Agius – Partit NazzjonalistaDr Peter Agius gives a definite yes to the question, adding that they ‘can find a way forward for sustainable hunting and trapping.’ Agius adds that this was the same ‘word they gave in 2004.’‘I will strive to respect it while promoting dialogue between different organizations and sustainability, mutual respect and legality as overriding criteria,’ Agius adds.Interestingly, the European Court of Justice had ruled in 2009 that Malta had breached the law between 2004 and 2007 on spring hunting during the Nationalist government because it had allowed hunters to shoot birds indiscriminately. Initially it had been thought that the court would ban hunting altogether.Godfrey Farrugia – Partit DemokratikuFarrugia states that ‘Spring hunting should not be permitted,’ but unlike his fellow PD colleague, he states that he would be, ‘in favour of sustainable hunting and bird trapping.’Carmel Cacopardo – Alternattiva Demokratika While the previous two candidates are interested in sustainability on hunting, Cacopardo says that derogations can only work if there are some scientific grounds to them. But, he stresses that this should, ‘not be a blanket exemption from provisions of directives.’FKNK questionsThis follow-up on the Birdlife questionnaire comes just after the FKNK published the responses from 17 responding MEP candidates.Of the 17 who replied, 8 had signed the attached manifesto supporting the FKNK’s manifesto of points on hunting in Malta. Most of the candidates who signed the document were from the Labour Party.Less than half of MEP respondents sign FKNK manifesto; most from PLPeter Agius was also a signatory to the manifesto, stating in his answer on protecting the tradition, that ‘a lot can be done from Brussels for the cause of the trappers especially, and also for the hunters.’WhatsApp <a href=’https://sp2.img.hsyaolu.com.cn/wp-shlf1314/2023/IMG11724.jpg” alt=”last_img” /> read more