BirdLife says Galdes’s position ‘untenable’ after endorsing taxidermy event

BirdLife Malta deplores parliamentary secretary responsible for animal rights Roderick Galdes after being pictured launching taxidermy event together with two men convicted of being in possession of protected birds

Parliamentary secretary Roderick Galdes with David Falzon (first from left) and Mark Buhagiar (third from left) on the launch of the taxidermy event - Falzon and Buhagiar were found guilty of being in possession of protected birds
Parliamentary secretary Roderick Galdes with David Falzon (first from left) and Mark Buhagiar (third from left) on the launch of the taxidermy event - Falzon and Buhagiar were found guilty of being in possession of protected birds

The position of Roderick Galdes – the parliamentary secretary responsible for safeguarding animal rights – is “untenable” after he endorsed a taxidermy event, and collaborated with individuals who had been convicted of being in possession of protected birds, BirdLife Malta said.

Speaking to MaltaToday, BirdLife Malta CEO Mark Sultana said it is “deplorable” that the person responsible to safeguard animal rights had launched an event exhibiting and promoting the killing and stuffing of birds and animals.

The event in question is “Inħobbu n-Natura” - an event which was held during this weekend at Buskett Gardens and was promoted as featuring an exhibition and competition of taxidermy birds, and an exhibition of singing birds

Despite the moral and ethical dilemmas surrounding the stuffing of birds, the parliamentary secretary launched the event on Thursday and even uploaded photos of the launch on his Facebook account, while the parliamentary secretariat even went as far as setting up a stand to promote “animal rights.”

“This event was morally and ethically wrong, and having our country’s government representative for animal rights organise, endorse and participate in this deplorable event is shameful,” Sultana said.

Notwithstanding Galdes’s questionable endorsement of the event, it also transpired that Galdes launched the event together with two men who had been found guilty of possession of protected birds of prey.

“The men along with Roderick Galdes are trying to promote that killing a bird or an animal to stuff it should be praised, celebrated, and even awarded. BirdLife Malta has lost all faith and trust in the Parliament Secretariat following its collaboration with these two people, and believes that his position has become untenable,” Sultana said.

The men in question are David Falzon and Mark Buhagiar, two officials of the Malta Taxidermy Foundation, BirdLife said.

“While this event could also be declared as illegal since it was organised in a Nature Reserve which prohibits people to be in possession of birds, it surely goes against the values of love for nature, preservation or conservation,” Sultana said.

Sultana also said that even animals protected by international law, such as rhinoceros and elephant tusks, were exhibited during the event.

“BirdLife Malta calls on the Prime Minister to stand by his words following the referendum, that he will lead a more environmental conscious government,” Sultana added.

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