From The Malta Independent November 19, 2001
Barbaric, shocking and brutal behaviour
I have been following with interest the recent debate in your publication about hunting in Malta. I was particularly interested
in FKNK secretary Lino Farrugias comments on Prof. Sielmann's use of emotionally-charged words such as 'barbaric', 'brutal
behaviour', 'shocking', 'detestable', 'misery' and 'cruel activity'.
Having visited Malta myself in September this
year as a tourist I can only support what Prof. Sielmann has said. How can the FKNK deny barbarism or brutal behaviour when
I witnessed the illegal shooting of hundreds of protected species including the short-toed eagle (Circaetus gallicus), honey
buzzard (Pernis apivorus), marsh harrier (Circus aeruginosus) and bee-eater (Merops apiaster). If this is not brutal behaviour,
Hunting is supposed to be a skilful pursuit, it does not take a great amount of skill to shoot down a huge
bird such as a short-toed eagle. Maybe Lino Farrugia could tell us why hunters in Malta shoot birds such as these? It obviously
requires no skill, it is not for food, maybe it is for a trophy? Or is it a macho thing? Does this make the hunter a better
man? Please tell us Lino.
I certainly found the level of illegal hunting in Malta to be shocking, many tourists who
come to your islands are also shocked by what they see and many never return because of this. Many more never travel to Malta
at all because of what they have read about barbaric hunting on the islands.
Malta could benefit hugely from tourists
choosing to visit Malta in spring and autumn (off-peak season) to witness bird migration and the many other natural delights
Malta has to offer.
These 'eco-tourists' often have more money to spend than the average summer 'beach' visitor
while extending the main tourist season somewhat.
I would urge the Maltese Government to provide ample resources
to rid Malta of this truly barbaric and hideous 'sport' and let the birds continue their migration unharmed.