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
NameReferendum 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 CommoditiesLive Animals
Project Details and Actors
Start Date1996
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersSping 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.
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)HIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
When did the mobilization beginIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups MobilizingInternational ejos
Local ejos
Local government/political parties
Social movements
Local scientists/professionals
Forms of MobilizationDevelopment 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
OtherLack of access to public space in view of hunting activity
Socio-economic ImpactsVisible: Loss of landscape/sense of place
Project StatusIn operation
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseNew legislation
Abolition of hunting in Spring
Development of AlternativesHunting can take place in Autumn, which has less of an impact in terms of conservation of migratory species
Do you consider this as a success?No
Why? Explain briefly.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 and Materials

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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Malta approves public referendum of bird hunt that kills over 15,000

Jeremy Hance

January 12, 2015
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BirdLife Malta
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Twitter Shout Malta
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Conservationists and marksmen of Malta battle over annual bird hunt
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Alternattiva Demokratika - The Green Party Malta
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Shout - No to Spring Hunting Campaign launch of referendum campaign
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Analysing the hunting referendum and campaigns in Malta
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Referendum: Yes wins referendum for retention of spring hunting - SHout concedes
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Other Documents

Birds for Life Source:
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Meta Information
Last update24/04/2015