It Wasn't Me!
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From The Malta Independent June 15, 2001

It wasn't me

Hunters accuse me of masterminding the activity where people go to tourist offices and take Malta brochures to dump them in a recycling bin.

This action was created by an Italian bird group. It is a witty, fresh and precious expression of anger an anger many Europeans feel about the on-going hunting in Malta. It once again puts the spotlight on the slaughter and caging of innocent birds.

I heard about this action a month ago, and I forwarded e-mails about this Italian action to other bird groups.

These accusations by the hunters are a personal attack on me. The Malta Independent was purposely misinformed by the hunters about who is running the action. None of the quotes mentioned in the article "Gozitan tells readers how to hurt Malta's tourism" from 11 June 2001, which should look like mine, are words of mine.

The Hunters' Federation casts aspersions against me because they have no reasonable arguments for the crimes they commit on birds and the environment.

I still run the < > website, which informs tourists and people all over the world about the unbearable affliction of the hunting and trapping of birds in Malta. If hunting and trapping birds is really such an innocent 'sport', such as soccer or waterpolo - which the hunters would have us believe - then why are they so afraid when the spotlight is turned on hunting?

If hunters were really concerned about the tourist industry, they would support initiatives such as removing shooting and trapping hides from the Hagar Qim and Mnajdra national park, and not speak against those who were trying to remove them. Hunters should be concerned about what their pastime is doing to the tourist industry and to the environment in general in Malta.

Everybody knows that the countryside becomes a no-go zone in spring and autumn the best months of the year because of the hunting issue. Tourist guidebooks have been speaking about the issue, and some compare dawn in Malta to 'Beirut of old' because of the number of gunshots that can be heard. It is hunters who are harming the tourist industry by killing birds, most of which are protected, not because I highlight their illegal actions. I am not "rabidly anti-Malta", or anti-Maltese government. I love the Maltese Islands, and that is the reason why I care about the destruction the hunters inflict on birds, the landscape and tourism. Isn't it unpatriotic of the hunters to destroy Maltas birds? Aren't they the ones that are out of step with European values of protecting the environment?

Is it really unpatriotic of me to try and point out that their behaviour is wrong, and to try to get the government to enforce its own laws?

David Camilleri
New York City, USA


Eurobirder/Proact-Malta David Conlin 2001