Alternattiva Demokratika calls for harsher hunting infringement penalties
AD Chairperson Carmel Cacopardo has called for an increase in penalties for hunting infringements.
During a Buskett visit organised by Birdlife Malta, Alternattiva Demokratika Chairperson Carmel Cacopardo thanked Birdlife for its work on the conservation of wild birds and biodiversity.
“Public awareness for more nature protection has increased exponentially over the years,” he said.
“Irresponsible hunters are a threat to conservation efforts. It is for this reason that fines and other penalties for hunting infringements should be made harsher rather than being reduced as is being suggested by government spokespersons. Advocating the reduction of fines and penalties sends the wrong messages. People acting responsibly and who abide by the law should not have any is- sues with a crackdown on illegalities,“he said
Simon Galea, spokesperson for Agriculture and Animal Welfare said: “The present scenario does not augur well. Incidences of illegal hunting continue to rise. Protected birds, such as birds of prey, are killed indiscriminately, denying the public the right to enjoy such natural heritage. The general public are not the only victims, but so are law-abiding hunters who have to carry the blame for their irresponsible counterparts.”
“Apart from the need to beef up enforcement – complemented by hefty fines – it is about time that hunters shoulder responsibility. It is unacceptable that after years of continuous rampant illegal hunting occurrences, nearly nobody from the hunting community has stepped forward to report such illegalities. Hunting associations come up with all kinds of imaginable excuses to defend such infringements. If hunters are of goodwill, then both their associations and individuals need to embark on a self-regulating exercise where illegalities are reported and culprits are named and shamed. In the absence of such, the government should close the hunting season indefinitely, a promise which was never kept by Prime Minister Muscat.“