Westminster debate “UK policy on protection of migratory birds in Malta”

Well, the debate in Westminster Hall on Wednesday 7 May, attracted some eight MPs.  Apparently according to Chris Packham, this is a good turn out for these things!  650 MPs and 8 is considered a good turn out, obviously I am happy to defer to experts on these matters.

Sir John Randall led the debate on the “UK policy on protection of migratory birds in Malta” as Chris Packham listened patiently to the proceedings.

Various authors, including Mark Avery provide excellent reports and comments further to the Westminster Hall adjournment debate.  Read the transcript via Hansard or watch the proceedings via Parliament.UK.   If you decide to view, remember that of the video it is the last half an hour or so that you should ‘fast forward’ to approximately 02:03:39.  I watched the proceedings, perhaps I expect too much – but the Government response delivered by George Eustice, was in my humble opinion somewhat lack lustre and unless I’ve misunderstood the Minister there is no intention on the part of Government to pursue the matter in a proactive manner.  If I try to take a measured view, perhaps that could be attributed to the fact that here in the UK we too do not have a good track record when it comes to protecting protected species, eg Hen Harrier and Red Kites to name just a couple of species in the news at the moment.  It was good to see that Randall also mentioned these incidences as well.  Eustice defends the Maltese Government by offering that they take the view they have already done a lot and that they have not been credited with this and concludes that a UK intervention is unlikely to be well received.

Let’s hope that the MEPs keep up the pressure, that Birdlife Malta are able to work with the Maltese people to deliver a referendum on Spring hunting, which sees an end to the abhorent practice pursued by a minority, here’s wishing them a successful campaign.



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