A trapping season too far?

With both political parties eagerly courting the hunters’ vote, it seems to be boom time for hunting and trapping in Malta. The latest political concession concerns the re-opening of a supposedly phased-out trapping season, in apparent defiance of European law. But FKNK president JOE PERICI CALASCIONE argues that all his association wants is a fair deal for hunters

FKNK President Joe Perici Calascione
FKNK President Joe Perici Calascione

It seems a long time ago today, but in 2008, thousands of angry hunters descended upon Valletta to protest against the abrupt closure of the spring hunting season. Since then, the season has been re-opened... the Maltese government has applied a derogation for trapping seven species of finches (when the Wild Birds Directive prohibits the live capture of any species at all)... and the hunting hours at Majjistral Park have been extended from 10 am to 2.30pm. At a glance, there seems to be a ’special relationship’ between the Labour Party and the hunters’ lobby... which has worked out spectacularly to the advantage of hunters, and to the detriment of all who argue that the situation is now completely out of hand. Is there, in fact, a secret agreement between Joseph Muscat and the FKNK?

There is no agreement as such. What there is, was continuous pressure from our side to recover what we felt had been incorrectly, or unethically, taken away from us. If you remember correctly, before 2013 the Majjistral Park was open for hunting at the usual hours. Then, subsequent to an agreement between the park management and the government of the time, they immediately reduced the hunting hours to 10am.... with the excuse of ‘children’, etc.

Read the full interview in the MaltaToday digital edition