Questions on hunting of migratory bird species during spring in Malta

Vraag met verzoek om schriftelijk antwoord aan de Commissie
Artikel 130 van het Reglement
Anja Hazekamp; Merja Kyllönen; Mark Demesmaeker; Kate?ina Kone?ná; Martin Häusling; Jill Evans; Marina Albiol Guzman; Stefan Eck; Peter van Dalen; Fabio Massimo Castaldo

On March 25, Malta opened the spring hunting season on migratory birds, in particular on quails. According to Directive 2009/147/EC on the protection of wild birds, migratory species shall not be hunted during their period of reproduction nor during the return to their rearing grounds. This Directive also prescribes that Member States shall prohibit the use of - among other things - tape recorders, nets and traps.

Recently, while visiting Maltese hunting grounds, several breaches of Directive 2009/147/EC were witnessed by one of the undersigned: electronic bird callers were widely used on hunting grounds, and a marsh harrier (listed in Annex I of the Birds Directive) was shot. Furthermore, NGO’s have reported the widespread use of illegal clap nets -1-

1) Taking into account the widespread use of bird callers, the shooting of protected species during the return to their rearing grounds and the use of illegal clap nets, does the Commission consider spring hunting in Malta as taking place 'under strictly supervised conditions’?

2) Which actions is the Commission currently undertaking to ensure the protection of birds flying over Malta during spring migration and which additional actions will follow the above-mentioned structural breaches of Directive 2009/147/EC?