BirdLife rejects court’s claim that 'there are benefits to hunting'

BirdLife Malta insists hunting is merely an 'egoistic act for the sole enjoyment of the hunter who is priveleged to carry a shotgun' 

BirdLife Malta has rejected a recent court claim that “there are benefits to legal hunting”.

“There are no known benefits to hunting in a modern society and hunting as practiced in Malta today simply decimates biodiversity and is simply carried out for the pleasure to kill,” BirdLife chief executive Mark Sultana said in a statement. “We find the court’s comment to be incredible.”

“We will continue to insist that there are several alternatives to hunting wild birds and hunting remains an egoistic act for the sole enjoyment of the hunter who is privileged to carry a shotgun.  The fact that it is tolerated does not mean that it is beneficial.”

Magistrate Francesco Depasquale on Monday dismissed a 2009 libel suit filed by BirdLife against the FKNK over the hunting federation’s accusation that it had “infiltrated the education department”.

The Education Services Directorate had back then issued a circular, advertising vacancies for liaison officers between BirdLife and secondary school. The officers would give talks to schoolchildren and encourage bird-watching.

However, the FKNK in a press release accused BirdLife of “gradually brain-washing children through the supply of misinterpreted and misrepresented material facts, depriving them of a fair and unbiased platform about what the environment and conservation should be about”.

The hunting federation subsequently came to an agreement with the Ministry of Education, whereby it would supply it with a ‘Teacher’s Pack’, explaining the “conservation efforts of hunters and trappers in the national environment”.

In his decision, Depasquale noted that while the booklet provided a great deal of interesting and relevant information about the environment and its protection, the only mention it had made of hunting was in the context of “massacres” and illegal hunting. He argued that it did not contemplate the possibility of legal hunting and hence failed to reach a balance.


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