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Hunting in Malta

“The Grand Collusion”, starring the hunting community and the Maltese government

With each passing hour, it becomes increasingly shocking and deplorable the level at which the FKNK and the Maltese government are colluding together to better the former’s interests. The latest piece of news is actually quite comical, since it shows the FKNK’s willingness to offer the government advice on how to apply for a derogation to allow the illegal trapping of finches.

A Male Greenfinch (Carduelis chloris), a protected species of finch that can be trapped in Malta this autumn. (Photo credit: mbaker)

A recent Times of Malta article gives us another piece of the puzzle to how the plan for the approval of the finch trapping season this autumn was set out. Apparently the decision taken by the committee yesterday, “was reached after independent scientific and legal studies by the Wild Bird Regulations unit on the basis of the proposal which the federation had made”. The dots in this case are too easy and blatant to connect, so this is the scenario of how the FKNK (main organisation for hunting in Malta) succeeded in getting what they wanted:

  • Pre March 2013 general election, the FKNK and the Labour Party have a ‘behind closed doors’ agreement
  • The new Labour government instills an ORNIS Committee in 2013 that consists of six government votes, one FKNK vote and one BirdLife vote  – it should be noted that the minister is represent by three people on this committee, which in itself is ridiculous
  • In 2013, the government appoints hunting sympathetic personnel to the Wild Bird Regulations Unit, including an FKNK council member Joseph Lia, hunting and trapping adviser Bertu Pace, and ex-MEPA employee Sergei Golovnik.
  • The government then reshuffles the ORNIS Committee, nominating Sergei Golovnik as secretary in July 2013. Mr Golovnik also happens to be the head of the Wild Bird Regulation Unit.
  • Labour MEPs Cyrus Engerer and Clint Camilleri openly endorse the hunting lobby – this is absolutely fine since every politician is entitled to his or her opinion, but these MEP hopefuls would have most definitely been the FKNK’s Trojan horses inside enemy base – European Parliament. Thankfully, neither of these was elected (Karma?)
  • Government starts actively seeking a ‘technical loophole’ in the EU law that would allow the illegal trapping of finches to go through.

With the pieces all in play and with the government’s backing, the FKNK simply submitted their proposal to the Wild Bird Regulation Unit, who ‘conducted’ their independent scientific and legal studies and fed back to the ORNIS Committee, which suggested to the government that finch trapping should be allowed.

So much for representing Malta at the Council of Europe’s convention as an “Expert on Illegal Killing, Trapping and Trade of Wild Birds” Mr Golovkin, when you work with the hunting lobby to allow the illegal trapping of finches to happen and claim on British media that the illegal hunting of protected species in Malta is under check.

What can we say really, apart from well played to all concerned and screw the rest of us who are not hunters!

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  1. Pingback: Can we trust a Maltese Commissioner with safeguarding Europe’s Environment? | The Malting Pot

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