Through their influence in the Environment Protection Directorate (EPD), Schools and other related government agencies, BLM have been leading the authorities by the nose far too long. Therefore, the Federation for Hunting & Conservation – Malta (FKNK) hopes that a new administration puts right this discrimination against hunters and trappers, and ends BLM’s reign of favouritism.
At the last Malta Ornis Committee Meeting held before the forthcoming General Elections of the 9 March, BLM’s representatives on the Malta Ornis Committee, Joe Mangion and Nicholas Barbara, once again proved to be arrogant, shamefully insulting, and disrespectful towards the other Committee members, to the point of even humiliating the Chairman of the Committee, Louis Cilia. This hijack of the Ornis Committee meeting by BLM on the eve of a General Election is a clear indication of its intentions and motivations of which, bird conservation today only plays a very minor role.
Since March of last year, BLM had asked for the resignation of the Malta Ornis Committee Chairman, citing a no-confidence vote in the Chair. Furthermore, in protest they refused to participate at any of the Committee’s Meetings since then. It must be stated that at the first Meeting of the Committee that followed BLM’s no-confidence vote, a unanimous vote of confidence in the Chairman was tabled by the other Committee members.
Now, BLM, have decided to participate at the last Ornis meeting held yesterday in order to propose control measures regarding the hunting of the turtle dove and the quail for this autumn; this in an attempt to abolish the hunting of the same species in spring of 2014. Nicholas Barbara immediately made it clear at the beginning of said Meeting that they were only participating to push through their proposals. The elected members of the FKNK on the Committee, Joe Perici Calascione and Lino Farrugia, had immediately opposed that BLM’s proposal be put on the Meeting’s agenda because: BLM had not withdrawn their request for the Chairman’s resignation; BLM had a whole year to participate in discussions concerning controls; and besides, BLM’s proposals, as circulated to Committee members prior to yesterday’s meeting concern controls used in the UK regarding fish! Thus, when BLM’s agenda item was about to be discussed, the FKNK representatives walked-out of the Meeting in protest. The FKNK is informed that Government’s appointed hunting and trapping expert on the Committee, Henry Fenech Azzopardi, then again asked BLM to withdraw their Chairman resignation’ request, and since BLM flatly refused, Fenech Azzopardi also walked out of the Meeting. The FKNK is further informed that the other civil servants and government appointees went ahead with the Meeting, and that it was finally agreed that the MEPA EPD representatives will meet BLM separately to discuss BLM’s spring hunting abolition proposal.