During a visit at Buskett to the Migration Watch activity organised by Birdlife Malta Alternattiva Demokratika – The Green Party Chairperson Carmel Cacopardo thanked Birdlife for their sterling work in favour of the conservation of wild birds and biodiversity in difficult conditions. Public awareness in favour of more nature protection has increased exponentially over the years.
Cacopardo added that it is unfortunate that irresponsible hunters are a threat to conservation efforts. It is for this reason that fines and other penalties for hunting infringements should be made harsher rather then being reduced as is being suggested by spokespersons for the government. Advocating the reduction of fines and penalties sends the wrong messages. Those acting responsibly and within the law should not have any issues with a crackdown on illegalities.
Simon Galea, Spokesperson for Agriculture and Animal Welfare concluded: ‘The present scenario does not augur well. Incidences of illegal hunting continue to rise. Protected birds, such as birds of prey are killed indiscriminately denying the public the right to enjoy such natural heritage. The general public are not the only victims, but also are law abiding hunters who have to carry the blame of their irresponsible counterparts. Apart from the need of beefing up enforcement complimented by hefty fines, it is about time that hunters shoulder responsibility. It is unacceptable that along these years of continuous rampant illegal hunting occurrences practically nobody from the hunting community has stepped forward to report such illegalities. Hunting associations come up with all kind of imaginable excuses to defend such infringements. If hunters are of goodwill then their associations and individuals alike need to embark on a self regulating mission where illegalities are reported and culprits are named and shamed. In the absence of such the government should close the hunting season indefinitely, a promise which was never kept by Prime Minister Muscat.’