Posted by: Dan | August 22, 2011

Open Season in Cyprus

In case you missed it yesterday:

Hunters expect a spree on first day – Cyprus Mail —

UP TO 20,000 hunters will take to the fields for the opening of the turtledove, woodpigeon and quail shooting season today, which is set to be the island’s largest to date thanks to increasing game bird population and the second highest number of licences ever issued.

The hunting federation has granted 47,716 licences this year, down just slightly from 48,137 in 2010 after more than 300 hunters’ licences were revoked because they were twice caught poaching.

BirdLife Cyprus‘s Martin Hellicar was given a chance to give his input, nicely expressing the NGO’s official policy on hunting in Cyprus:

Asked about the forthcoming season, Hellicar said: “It would probably be better to start later to let birds complete their breeding cycle, but as long as the hunters stick to the rules, it is not a conservation issue. Our concern remains that a significant number of hunters do not stick to the rules. For example we get a lot of complaints about hunters shooting near to peoples’ homes.”

Hellicar called on the hunters association to take stronger measures to reign in the rule-breakers and create a responsible hunting culture. “Sustainable hunting is better for all,” he added.

I can’t underline that last statement enough: “Sustainable hunting is better for all.” While there are worse conservation issues BirdLife Cyprus faces, a little moderation on the part of hunters wouldn’t hurt.

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