Ruined Reputation
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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 migratory birds.

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all sensible citizens of your islands, will strive to restore and present an image of Malta which is unspoilt by the outdated and cruel pastimes of a small minority.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".

Massimo Fedi
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

Mauro Ferri, Modena, and

Chiara Scandolara, Laveno


Eurobirder/Proact-Malta David Conlin 2001