BirdLife Malta's logic is flawed – Hunters lobby
BirdLife’s attempt to influence the electorate is flawed, Federation for Hunting and Conservation (FKNK) Secretary General Lino Farrugia said.
In his statement to the media regarding NATURA 2000 Sites, BirdLife Malta’s (BLM) Executive Director Steve Micklewright, admits that “Almost all of these protected nature areas are (or should be) accessible to the public, either by public roads and footpaths, or as nature parks and reserves.” Lino Farrugia argued that therefore, it’s completely incorrect for him to assert at the same time that hunters and trappers have been allowed to rule the roost in the Maltese countryside.
He argued that most of the Natura 2000 designated land is privately owned by people who hunt and trap, which makes them major stakeholders whose interests must be taken into consideration. “Whereas such zones are not totally protected, they are amenable to hunting and trapping since these activities are perfectly compatible in such zones,” he explained.
The Secretary General indicates that the Federation of Associations for Hunting and Conservation in the EU (FACE) “NATURA 2000 and Sustainable Hunting in Europe” project is supported by BirdLife international. He pronounced that contrary to what BLM believe, this project proves that activities such as hunting and trapping may continue on NATURA 2000 sites as long as they are compatible with its conservation objectives.
The Saint Hubert Hunters Secretary David Borg Cardona supported the FKNK statement and added that BLM should stand by and respect its international counterpart’s project and show their commitment towards an agreement urging reconciliation in Malta.
Lino Farrugia mentioned BirdLife Malta’s UK counterpart, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds permit hunting in some of their reserves, Natura 2000 sites and sanctuaries, adding that the UK allows various forms of hunting 24/7 throughout the year.
Moreover he concluded that since all NATURA 2000 sites will be placed under specific management all activities including hunting and trapping, will have to be legally practised and controlled, an ideal situation for the good of biodiversity conservation.