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‘I will never condone hunting’ hits out Animal Welfare Commissioner
Animal Welfare Commissioner Alison Bezzina has come out against hunting, in a jab at the newly appointed Animal Rights Parliamentary Secretary Alicia Bugeja Said.
The comments come days after Alicia Bugeja Said, who is responsible for animal rights, welcomed the news that a court allowed the spring hunting season to open as planned.
In a Facebook post, she said that she is ‘satisfied with the work done to safeguard the traditions that make us Maltese’.
In response, Alison Bezzina said that, as the Animal Welfare Commissioner, legal hunting was not within her remit as it was not considered cruel according to the Animal Welfare Act. However, she said that, personally, there were only two scenarios when killing an animal could be justified.
‘If the animal is in distress, and killing them is the merciful thing to do. If your life, safety or health is on the line and dependent on killing an animal’ highlighted Bezzina.
This year’s spring hunting season for turtle doves and quals opened on Easter Sunday, but was met with much controversy. BirdLife Malta criticised the decision to allow the hunting of turtle dove and tried to stop the season. Turtle-doves being included in the hunting season ended a moratorium on spring hunting for the species which was introduced in 2017 after the European Commissioner threatened legal action.
The bird is currently deemed a vulnerable species, but a court turned down BirdLife Malta’s request, allowing the season to go ahead as planned until the 30th of April.
Today (19th April 2022), Alicia Bugeja Said also spoke out against the ‘massacre’ of protected marsh harriers at Delimara, saying that she condemns such an act without reserve. ‘I hope that justice is done against such an act so that those who practice respectfully are not condemned for the acts of those who don’t.’
Cyrus Engerer responds to jabs made by Eve Borg Bonello
PL MEP Cyrus Engerer has responded to remarks made by youngest and PN MP Eve Borg Bonello on TVM show XTRA.
This comes after Borg Bonello said that the difference between the two main parties is clear. ‘The PN have a European Parliament President, the PL has an MEP who was found guilty of sex crimes and wants to present himself as progressive.’
Borg Bonello was referencing Engerer being convicting of distributing revenge porn back in 2014 before becoming an MEP for the Labour Party.
In response, Engerer took to Facebook to write; ‘Politics has taught me that you need to talk less, listen to everyone and work even more. It seems as though there are some who are still yet to learn this lesson.’
Borg Bonello was speaking during a debate with PL MP Cressida Galea, in which the two politicians discussed the gender quota mechanism amongst other topics.
WATCH: Protected birds ‘massacred’ in illegal shooting at Delimara
NGO BirdLife Malta took to social media to reveal that a whole flock of protected Western Marsh-harriers was ‘massacred’ by hunters at Tas-Silg in Delimara last night.
The birds of prey, known as Bagħdan Aħmar in Maltese, were reportedly trying to roost in the valley and were illegally targeted during the night.
The NGO said that their teams remained on site overnight following reports that the birds were roosting in the area yesterday afternoon. Hunters opened fire on the birds a few hours after sunset, ‘with the massacre caught on film.’
Police who convened on site found five birds, with four injured and another retrieved dead from the area. BirdLife Malta released exclusive footage of the shooting along with a press release about the illegal hunting incident which ‘shows that hunting enforcement measures are out of control as a result of amnesties on taxidermy collections.’
Photos were also released by Steve Zammit Lupi on his Instagram story, handling what seem to be injured and even another dead bird following an incident.