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Referendum to end Bird Hunting in Spring, Malta

Upcoming referendum on 11th April 2015 against bird hunting in Spring season


A coalition, "SHOUT - Spring Hunting Out" has been formed in Malta, comprising ENGOs (led by Birdlife Malta), the Green Party (Alternattive Demokratika) and public personalities, and is also supported by Malta's three English speaking newspapers. The aim of the coalition is to stop hunting of birds in Spring in line with the EU Birds’ Directive.

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Referendum to end Bird Hunting in Spring, Malta
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Biodiversity conservation conflicts
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Other
Specific commodities:Live Animals
Project Details and Actors
Project details

Start of the conflict:1996
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Sping Hunting Out (Shout), Birdlife Malta, Alternattiva Demokratika - The Green Party Ramblers Association of Malta, Nature Trust, Moviment Graffiti, International Animal Rescue Malta, Greenhouse Malta, Gaia Foundation, Friends of the Earth Malta, Flimkien għal Ambjent Aħjar, Din l-Art Ħelwa, Coalition for Animal Rights.
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityHIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
Reaction stageIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups mobilizing:International ejos
Local ejos
Local government/political parties
Social movements
Local scientists/professionals
Forms of mobilization:Development of a network/collective action
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Media based activism/alternative media
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Referendum other local consultations
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Soil contamination, Other Environmental impacts
Potential: Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation
Other Environmental impactsLack of access to public space in view of hunting activity
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Loss of landscape/sense of place
Project StatusIn operation
Conflict outcome / response:New legislation
Abolition of hunting in Spring
Proposal and development of alternatives:Hunting can take place in Autumn, which has less of an impact in terms of conservation of migratory species
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:The referendum on 11 April was won by the 'Yes' campaign, which was in favour of keeping hunting of Birds in Spring. The Yes campaign obtained 50.4 per cent of votes.
Sources & Materials
References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

Briguglio, Michael (2014), Bird Hunting in European Malta: A Case of ENGO Empowerment?, in Liam Leonard, Sya Buryn Kedzior (ed.) Occupy the Earth: Global Environmental Movements (Advances in Sustainability and Environmental Justice, Volume 15) Emerald Group Publishing Limited, pp.295 - 324
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Twitter Shout Malta
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Alternattiva Demokratika - The Green Party Malta
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Conservationists and marksmen of Malta battle over annual bird hunt
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Shout - No to Spring Hunting Campaign launch of referendum campaign
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Malta approves public referendum of bird hunt that kills over 15,000

Jeremy Hance

January 12, 2015
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Referendum: Yes wins referendum for retention of spring hunting - SHout concedes
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BirdLife Malta
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Analysing the hunting referendum and campaigns in Malta
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Meta information
Last update18/08/2019
Conflict ID:1891
Legal notice / Aviso legal
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