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BirdLife ‘baffled’ at minister’s concern for reputation of ‘responsible hunters’

The eNGO reiterated that there was no political will on the part of the government to control hunting with illegalities happening in all corners of the island at every opportunity

yannick_pace
Yannick Pace
26 September 2017, 6:49pm
BirdLife Malta has said that since the start of September 15 protected birds have been shot down
BirdLife Malta has said that since the start of September 15 protected birds have been shot down
BirdLife Malta has said that it remained baffled by a statement by the environment ministry, which, in a statement yesterday regarding the shooting of protected birds, said that it was concerned about the reputation of responsible hunting more than anything else.

It said that despite statements issued by both the Nationalist Party and the environment ministry both insisted on better police enforcement of bird protection laws, it seemed as though authorities were not interested in enforcing the law.

“BirdLife Malta reiterates that there is no genuine political will from the Government to control hunting whatsoever with illegalities happening in all corners of the island with every opportunity,” read a statement by the NGO.

It added “it is high time the government stopped pampering the hunting lobby and rather than showing concern about what hunters are causing to themselves when they shoot protected birds, it should be preoccupied about the fact that schoolchildren visiting nature reserves in the days to come will not be able to see these beautiful birds as they have been shot”.

Moreover, it said that it was time the government showed the hunting lobby that the “privilege of going out with loaded shotguns in our countryside should not be taken for granted.”

“We expect enforcement of laws so that the general public can enjoy wildlife alive and well, not because illegal hunting is damaging the reputation of hunters. In reality, it is the reputation of Malta, an EU member state, that is being tarnished,” it said.

BirdLife Malta has confirmed that a Honey Buzzard and a Purple Heron recovered from Buskett this morning were in fact shot, bringing the total number of known illegally shot protected birds this autumn season up to 15 – a ratio of roughly one every two days. 

yannick_pace
Yannick joined MaltaToday as a journalist in 2016. His main areas of interest are politics...