“BLM Executvie Director is deceitful and incorrect” – FKNK
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“Since joining BirdLife Malta (BLM) in the position of Executive Director, Mr. Steve Micklewright, from the UK, has only transmitted incorrect and biased communications with regard to the local hunting and trapping scene,” the Federation for Hunting & Conservation – Malta (FKNK) said.
FKNK continued, “Mr. Micklewright has now taken the Labour Party Leader, Dr. Joseph Muscat, to task,” because Dr. Muscat has stated that he: “wants Maltese hunters and trappers to be treated like those in other European states” and that “Where derogations are applicable, we will apply them.”
“Does this, therefore, mean, that Mr. Micklewright and his lackeys, expect that Maltese hunters and trappers should be treated less than their European counterpart EU member citizens! Treated like 2nd Class EU Citizens?”
The FKNK asked, “could this maybe be the impression that the present state of affairs has inflicted on BLM and their like – that they are superior EU citizens? Does Mr. Micklewright and BLM’s arrogance extend so far as to expect local government to denounce its EU Membership-given right to apply derogations as and when necessary, as do other Member States including the UK (where over 1000 derogations are applied on an annual basis?”
FNKN stated that Mr. Micklewright has also deceivably and incorrectly stated that: “..hunters in the Maltese Islands can legally shoot 41 bird species during the five-month autumn hunting season, compared with just 18 wild bird species that can be hunted recreationally during the autumn season in the UK.”
The hunters said that wild bird species, including game birds, only make an appearance over the Maltese islands according to natural migration circumstances and depend very much on the prevailing weather conditions. “Such appearances are completely out of the context of any pre-set man-made autumn season since said species are never met throughout the stated 5 months, as Mr. Micklewright tries to imply, but only for a few weeks for each species, and in most cases none at all.”
“Out of the 41 bird species on the legal hunting list, the local current status sees 3 species listed as ‘very common’; another 3 as ‘common’; 11 as ‘fairly common’; 7 as ‘scarce’; 6 as ‘very scarce’; and 2 as ‘vagrants.” The FKNK continued, “the other 9 species, added in May 2010 as a result of Romania and Bulgaria’s EU Membership are listed as ‘alien’, because these are not to be found occurring naturally in the wild in the Maltese islands, and Maltese hunters couldn’t possibly be also accused of hunting ghosts. (Zammit and Farrugia, 2012a and b).”
The FKNK said that “Mr Micklewright is both deceitful and incorrect when he ‘conveniently’ quotes UK figures. In the UK 22 bird species may be hunted, out of which 16 are migratory. Furthermore, 7 deer species may also be hunted, besides other game termed as ground-game such as the hare.”
Moreover, an innumerable number of both bird and mammal species may be taken by shooting, destruction of eggs and nests, use of cage-traps and lamping at night. These species, termed as ‘pests’ include: collared doves, woodpigeon, starlings, and other as far as bird species, and mink, rabbits and fox, and other as far as mammals are concerned.”
“What Mr. Micklewright also conveniently forgot to mention is that for these species there is no open or close season since they may be taken 24 hours a dat, 365 days a year,” the FKNK said.
Lino Farrugia the FKNK Secretary General concluded by saying that the FKNK would like to state that “it appreciates any administration that is willing to defend Maltese hunters’ and trappers’ rights within the parameters of the European Union Nature Directives and regulations.”