MaltaToday | 13 August 2008

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NEWS | Wednesday, 13 August 2008

A right royal fuss – hunters complain to Her Majesty

Malta’s hunting lobby, the Federazzjoni Kaccaturi Nassaba Konservazzjonisti (FKNK), wrote a letter addressed to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in protest against the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds’ (RSPB) awareness campaign about illegal hunting in Malta.
Queen Elizabeth is the patroness of the RSPB.
FKNK secretary-general Lino Farrugia said the federation had written to the Queen on 16 May, to complain about the RSPB commissioning a direct-marketing agency, Whitewater Creative Services, to organise a campaign and fundraising appeal in support of BirdLife Malta.
The letter was signed by FKNK president Joe Buttigieg.
“The campaign, started in October 2006, took the form of a petition ‘to pressure Maltese Prime Minister Laurence Gonzi into respecting EU wildlife protection laws’ and asked for a donation ‘to help the fight to protect Europe’s wild birds’,” Farrugia said in a press statement.
Last year, a team from the RSPB was in Malta to present the RSPB petition to the prime minister.
“However, the RSPB Malta campaign brochure can still be seen on the Whitewater website… Therefore, one must conclude that the RSPB never disassociated itself from the printed malicious lies about the massacre of blackcaps, the illegal killing of millions of birds, and the hunting of 100 species of songbirds,” Farrugia said.
Farrugia accused the RSPB’s campaign of a “glaring misrepresentation of material facts”, saying illegal shooting of protected birds did not involve millions but a few dozens of mainly raptors; and that only seven songbird species are captured and never shot, when caught by traditional clap-nets for the purpose of keeping them alive in captivity.
The letter was copied to the President of the Malta Edward Fenech Adami and to Lawrence Gonzi.
“There has been no reaction to date,” Farrugia morosely noted in his press release.
The Queen will surely be amused.

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13 August 2008

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