Why I won’t be vis­it­ing Malta

Bird Watching (UK) - - Your View -

For more than 15 years I have pe­ri­od­i­cally writ­ten let­ters sug­gest­ing the only way to make Malta clamp down on the shoot­ing of our birds is for some­one or some or­gan­i­sa­tion to take on or­gan­is­ing a boy­cott of Malta – hol­i­days, flights, cruise ships and goods, etc. This is be­cause I can see that the Mal­tese Gov­ern­ment has no in­ten­tion of stop­ping the slaugh­ter of birds for as long as they can get away with it. Ev­ery time my let­ters have been re­sponded to by peo­ple of in­flu­ence say­ing this is not the way and we need to ed­u­cate them and ap­ply gen­tle per­sua­sion. Now, I am not against these two sug­ges­tions, but they have not worked for a lot more than 15 years! We need stronger ac­tion. Chris Pack­ham, for whom I have great re­spect, has tried this ap­proach and for his trou­ble he has got him­self ar­rested. Al­right, he was found not guilty in court, but it shows that what­ever the Mal­tese Gov­ern­ment says, as a po­lit­i­cal state­ment, on the ground, where it re­ally mat­ters, the killing goes on and there is re­sis­tance to any change. For how many more years is this dis­grace­ful killing go­ing to be al­lowed to con­tinue? We need stronger ac­tion and we need it now. That can only mean an or­gan­ised boy­cott to hit them in the pocket where it re­ally hurts. I have long crossed Malta off my travel list, de­spite the ease of vis­it­ing the is­land for birdwatching or other hol­i­day rea­sons.

Richard Camp

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