From The Malta Independent May 15, 2001
Hunters are ruining your reputation
Malta's reputation as a holiday destination has been considerably tarnished by the barbaric behaviour of a minority of its
fellow citizens; namely those who call themselves hunters, and who twice a year participate in a bloody slaughter of Europe's
Malta's image as a friendly island is receiving increasing international publicity, and not only
in environmental circles. We, as birders, ornithologists and nature lovers, cannot unreservedly recommend a visit to, or holiday
in, Malta until a stop is put to these practices, including the trapping and caging of song birds, by the introduction and
enforcement of appropriate legislation. In this context we refer you to the wild birds and habitat directives of the European
Union and the Bern Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats.
The EU directives have
yet to be transposed - a prerequisite for your prospective membership; your country is party to the latter; but with reservations
and exceptions in relation to the hunting season.
Until significant progress is made in this direction we feel obliged
to inform all of our personal and professional contacts, who might otherwise consider visiting your island, of this sad state
of affairs. In a global society with increasing environmental awareness and sensibility, they will draw their own conclusions.
We, on the other hand, will actively encourage fellow birders and ornithologists to migrate to Malta, in particular during
the wild bird passage seasons in spring and autumn. We rely on your ministry, as well as the responsible organs of the Maltese
government, to ensure the safety of such visitors at all times.
We are confident that you, and all sensible citizens
of your islands, will strive to restore and present an image of Malta which is unspoilt by the outdated and cruel pastimes
of a small minority. In this endeavour you are assured of our encouragement and active support. Hopefully we will have the
opportunity to visit and enjoy the natural beauties of your country; and leave behind our visiting card "This tourist
is a Eurobirder".
Florence - Italy
Editor's Note : Similarly worded letters have
been received from:
Andrea Tarozzi, Bologna
Claudia Valoriani, Florence
Fabio Mirandola, Florence
Silvio Vincenzi, Pordenone
Antonino Montanari, Piacenza
Diego Rubolini, Milan
Chiara Scandolara, Laveno