Letters: 17 May 2015

Tarnishing Malta’s image

I feel compelled to write about the letter by Sean Whyte of London (Malta Today, 10 May) entitled ‘Blasting migrating birds from the sky is not a sport’.

Mr Whyte makes reference to ‘mass slaughter’. No doubt readers will be fully aware that there are strict quotas imposed upon Maltese hunters during the Spring hunting season, these quotas being minuscule compared to other EU countries such as Great Britain, France, Italy, Spain, Germany, etc where the number of birds shot runs into tens of millions, both reared and wild birds.

Mr Whyte refers to hunters ‘spraying the sky with lethal billets’. This shows the limited knowledge of hunting held by Mr Whyte as anyone with a modicum of knowledge of hunting knows that shot, not bullets, are fired at birds.

He refers to the birds being hunted as ‘not even Maltese birds’. As the birds being hunted in Malta in Spring are migratory birds, their migratory life being spent in many countries in Africa and many in Europe the birds belong to the country in which they are in at any given time.

Furthermore migratory birds such as many species of duck and goose, snipe, woodcock etc are hunted in almost every EU country.

Mr Whyte states that he would ‘never set foot on Malta’ due to the hunting of birds. Presumably Mr Whyte will be leaving Great Britain as hunting is far more widespread in Great Britain, as it is in every other EU country than it is in Malta. Mr Whyte would be extremely hard pressed to find a country where hunting is not practised.

Mr Whyte also refers to the ‘image of Malta’ and tourists having ‘blood splattered all over them on holiday’. The image of Malta is being purposely tarnished by foolish people like Mr Whyte making ridiculous statements implying that tourists would be covered in blood as a result of hunting practices.

Philip Sword, Newcastle upon Tyne

Poorly thought-out letters

On reading “Blasting birds from the sky is not a sport” (May 10), I cannot but laugh and attribute such writing either to a fool or to a person who has been confined to living in a box since birth.

What makes this and similar letters ever more pathetic is the fact that the editor publishes them so readily.

Perhaps the editor considers them entertaining and in keeping with his views on hunting but to all in the know they are nothing but an insult to his intelligence.

Reader Sean Whyte from the UK states that “people like myself who respect and admire birds for what they are will never set foot in Malta until this barbaric practice is banned.

Considering that “defenceless wild birds” are also shot in England to the tune that shooting generates £2 billion to UK economy, what exactly is he trying to prove other than his bigotry?

 By publishing such nonsensical letters the editor is advocating a warped reason for people to follow Sean Whyte’s advice and example and boycott Malta.

With 17 wild bird species (not mentioned below) shot all year round as pests, seven deer species, rabbit, hare and wild boar, the UK is considered as a shooter’s paradise. Perhaps the editor’s comparing the “genocide” in Malta to that in the UK might make him realise the stupidities he so readily backs and publishes. According to statistics provided by the Committee Against Bird Slaughter, CABS, Malta’s 397,690 shot birds pale into insignificance compared to the UK’s 22,149,024. (http://tinyurl.com/l6ktxt5).

Before fearing any “defenceless birds which could fall out of the sky and onto you at any moment” or “blood splattered all over them on holiday” Sean Whyte had better admit to reality and stop feeding garbage to certain obliging editors.

 Should anyone’s counter argument centre around shooting in the UK being limited to birds bred for the purpose, then it might be opportune to mention that, apart from bred pheasant and partridge, the UK shooting list consists of the following wild birds: Golden Plover, Common Snipe, Jack Snipe, Woodcock, nine duck species, four goose species, moorhen, coot, grey partridge, red grouse, black grouse and ptarmigan. Most of them are “birds migrating to other countries”, no less than those shot in Malta.

Mark Mifsud Bonnici

President, Kaccaturi San Ubertu