Access by families to the Countryside: large majority against hunting on weekends and school holidays

April 3, 2015

Din l-Art Ħelwa’s ‘Save the Countryside’ survey (Part 2):

Din l-Art Ħelwa’s ‘Save the Countryside’ campaign has conducted a survey of the Maltese population’s views on the Countryside in collaboration with MISCO International.

Certain key results dealing with Hunting and Trapping were published last week. Other key results linked to Hunting and Trapping are the following:

Importance of the Countryside for Maltese families in the traditional hunting and trapping periods:

The importance of the Countryside for Maltese families in Spring, Autumn and Winter, the traditional hunting and trapping periods, is clearly shown in the survey: Part 1 of the results (published last week) showed that 50% of the Maltese population walk or take a drive in the Countryside each week in Spring. The figure is high in Autumn and Winter also. It should be noted that the so-called Autumn hunting season today stretches from 1st September of any given year to the 31st January of the following year.

  • In Autumn 44% of Maltese walk or take a drive in the Countryside each week and only 13% never walk or take a drive in the Countryside.
  • In Winter 39% walk or take a drive in the Countryside each week and only 14% never walk or take a drive in the Countryside.
  • For obvious reasons, fewer Maltese walk or take a drive in the Countryside during Summer although 31% still claim to do so on a weekly basis. During Summer the number of those never walking or taking a drive in the Countryside rises to 28%.

Hunting and Access to the Countryside:

  • Part 1 of the results showed that 55% of the population aged 16 and over believe that hunting restricts access to the Countryside for families.
  • Part 1 of the results also showed that:
    • 51% were in favour of banning hunting in Spring and 30% were against such a ban;
    • 39% were in favour of banning hunting in Autumn and 40% were against such a ban.
  • On coming into government Prime Minister Joseph Muscat introduced hunting on Sundays and Public Holidays in Spring which had previously been banned. The survey results show that this was not supported by the Maltese population who want this decision reversed and a hunting ban introduced for the whole weekend and all school holidays. In fact:
    • 60% of the population believe that, even if hunting is allowed in Spring, no hunting at all should be allowed on Spring weekends; this figure rises to 66% for persons aged 35-44 and to 65% for persons aged 45-54.
    • 53% believe that, even if hunting is allowed in Autumn, no hunting at all should be allowed on Autumn weekends; this figure rises to 61% for persons aged 35-44 and to 57% for persons aged 45-54.
  • Showing the importance of the Countryside to parents, the Maltese population also believes that hunting should be stopped during school holidays:
    • 64% of the population believe that, even if hunting is allowed in Spring, hunting should be stopped during Spring school holidays; this figure rises to 71% for persons aged 35-44 as well as for persons aged 45-54.
    • 57% believe that, even if hunting is allowed in Autumn, hunting should be stopped during Autumn school holidays; this figure rises to 69% for persons aged 35-44.

Nature Sites or Parks:

  • The work in past years to introduce protected nature sites or parks in the Maltese countryside has not gone unnoticed by the population. In fact, 70% were able to mention one or more of these nature sites or parks.
  • 79% of respondents claimed to have visited at least one of these sites or parks in the past year. 36% claimed to have visited at least one of these sites or parks in the past month and 11% claimed to have visited at least one of these sites or parks in the past week.
  • Only 21% of respondents said that they have not visited at least one of these sites or parks in the past year; this figure drops to 12% for those aged 25-34 and 6% for those aged 16-24.

Clearly reflecting the pressure the population feel the countryside in under, 88% of the population believe we should have more protected nature sites. No new nature sites or parks have been established since 2013 although there is at least one pending request to the government for an identified area to be declared as nature sites or parks. See report of proposal made by BirdLife Malta, Din l-Art Ħelwa, Flimkien għal Ambjent Aħjar and Nature Trust: http://dinlarthelwa.org/uncategorized/dlh-news/proposal-from-4-ngos-to-establish-a-nature-park-in-the-south-of-malta/

Interviewing was carried out using the computer assisted telephone interviewing mode. Stratified random sampling was used to select the 500 participants. Telephone numbers were randomly selected using a random digit dialling system. Respondents were stratified by age and gender. Interviews were carried out during February 2015. The data analysis was produced by MISCO International.

Assistance was provided by MCAST students of Environmental Sustainability

Din l-Art Ħelwa’s ‘Save the Countryside’ campaign aims to show the relevance of the Maltese countryside and biodiversity to our daily lives. The campaign aims to build awareness of the importance of conserving the countryside and avoiding its loss, especially due to over-development. Din l-Art Ħelwa’s ‘Save the Countryside’ campaign is part-funded by the EEA Grants NGO Malta Programme.

SEE PART ONE OF THE SURVEY HERE :

http://dinlarthelwa.org/homepage/55-of-maltese-believe-that-hunting-restricts-access-to-the-countryside-for-families/

 

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