Spring hunting to stay in Malta, hunters expect 50.8% majority

Spring Hunting Out spokespersons say that they respect outcome of referendum but that the numbers should send a strong message to politicians that a large portion of the Maltese electorate does not support spring hunting.

Counting staff lift their votes up high so that monitors inspect the process from behind the perspex wall.

An altercation on the eighth district table was quelled by police officers.

Inside the counting hall

Inside the counting hall
James Debono, whose polls correctly predicted so many electoral outcomes, explains his reasoning why this time MaltaToday’s polls did not get this referendum prediction right. CLICK HERE
Yes wins – spring hunting to stay, carcades, celebratory shooting heard



The Yes camp has won the spring hunting referendum with 51% of the vote, an advantage of some 5000 votes over the No camp.

The No camp, which had campaigned to abolish spring hunting, conceded defeat and thanked all those who supported it. No campaigners said they would respect the decision and would continue to work for the protection of the environment.

 FKNK president Joe Percici Calascione called for calm and asked for no carcades to be held. “We did not win anything, we just did not lose,” he said.

Indications are that hunters won by a 5,000-vote margin.

General secretary Lino Farrugia told hunters “let’s enjoy ourselves but let’s also be careful and respect everyone. We will announce an official activity at a later stage.” But hunters immediately started celebrating. Carcades were seen in several localities, and celebratory shooting was held in San Gwann, Zabbar and Mellieha.

The Yes camp was buoyed late yesterday by figures which showed a higher turnout in localities known to have a high proportion of hunters.

Getting people out to vote had been key to the two camps and the hunters appeared to have been more successful, capping a successful campaign which they waged largely on their own terms.

The campaign – led by a group headed by lawyer Kathleen Grima rather than the FKNK hunters’ federation – was characterised by an absence of images of shotguns and dead birds, with the Yes camp having successfully steered it to one focused on the right to exercise their hobby.

The Yes camp made full use of the ‘pulling power’ of the prime minister – with most hunters said to be Labour leaning. Dr Muscat, like the leader of the Opposition, said that he would vote in favour of spring hunting, while leaving the members of the party free to vote as they wished.

The hunters also appear to have made inroads in their efforts to persuade enthusiasts of other hobbies, such as fireworks and motorsports, that a No camp victory could open the way for a referendum against their activities.

A Yes victory, if confirmed, will mean that the Spring hunting season opens as scheduled on Tuesday next week.

In a statement, the Nationalist Party said voters had expressed their will to retain the derogation against the EU ban on spring hunting. “We make it clear that we are respecting the people’s decision, without any reservations. Now it is everybody’s duty, particularly the government’s, to see that this will is respected. The PN augurs that the maturity shown by the two sides during the campaign continues to be shown.

Muscat: “The public has given a last chance to genuine hunters to practice their tradition. But hunters have to understand that the story has changed for them, totally. Practically half the people do not want spring hunting to continue. So they have to reckon with this reality. They have to understand that they must respect the law in the spring hunting season that will open on Tuesday. They have to get it right.”

1 comment to Spring hunting to stay in Malta, hunters expect 50.8% majority

  • Adam Longshaw

    Very disappointing news today from Malta. It is time to encourage and promote a boycott on British people holidaying in Malta until this is stopped.