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Malta and its Hunters

Malta is a country composed of three small islands in the middle of the Mediterranean, 100 kilometers south of Sicily.

Malta has one of the world's highest number of hunters per capita, who shoot and kill any bird that flies. The skies over Malta and the surrounding sea are devoid of birds. Each year, 3 million birds are shot or trapped on Malta while migrating between Africa and Europe in the spring and autumn, leading to a gradual decline of these beloved European birds that traditionally seek refuge in Malta.

The Maltese hunters have all but destroyed the countrys namesake, the Maltese falcon. In 1982, hunters on the island of Ghawdex shot the last pair of nesting Maltese falcons, also known as peregrine falcons. Every year the hunters also trap millions of wild songbirds that die needlessly shortly after being caged. Politically, these hunters have won the upper hand through bullying tactics. They are organized and have intimidated political parties, governments and environmentalists.

Since 1994, successive governments have relaxed the hunting laws to a point that enforcement no longer exist. A battle has begun in Malta against the government and hunters bent on the destruction of these migratory bird populations for mindless fun.

As a bird-lover and potential tourist to Malta, we ask you to help shift the governments focus from the birds destruction to their part in a successful new economy for Malta, eco-tourism. The tourist industry supports 40% of the Maltese economy and it is the largest industry in Malta. Without the tourist trade, the Maltese economy will not survive. We want you to tell the Maltese government to stop the violent, unnecessary hunting of migratory birds through official legislation, and establish laws protecting all migratory birds. We also want the Maltese government see the wisdom of protecting these birds for the ecosystem, as well as the people of Malta by promoting their presence to tourists who will come specifically to see them. The people of the world cannot remain silent. Malta does not have the right to obliterate these species of birds from the earth. We must speak for the migratory birds that have been abused, tortured and murdered by the Maltese hunters and government. I hope this action letter inspires you to do something. If you take one step, if you tell one person about these birds, write one letter - you will make an important contribution! We ask you to keep the pressure on the Maltese government and expose its cruelty in the international court of public opinion.

Links:

MALTA ON THE FAT BIRDER

BIRDLIFE MALTA

MALTA - THE OFFICIAL SITE

NATURE TRUST (MALTA)

THE TIMES & SUNDAY TIMES OF MALTA

THE MALTA INDEPENDENT

Proact/Birding in Europe David Conlin 2001