BirdLife Malta and the Federation of Hunters, Trappers and Conservationists (FKNK) are not agreeing on the cost of the 2015 hunting referendum.
FKNK are saying that Government should not again spend another six million euro on a referendum. BirdLife Malta reacted, saying the Finace Minister at the time had declared the referendum had cost 4.6 million euro, and not the six million euro being mentioned by the hunters’ group.
Government should not spend €6 million
The FKNK say BirdLife Malta are threatening another referendum in order to abolish Spring hunting. It adds that Government should not spend over six million euro from people’s taxes in order to hold another referendum on an issue which the majority already voted on in 2015.
It added that Government should consider the FKNK petition with more than 104,000 signatures calling for an amendment to the law on referenda.
The FKNK stated that the season as proposed by the Environment and Resources Authority does not make sense, as according to the ERA during the suggested period other birds fly over which are not quail in a season which is supposed to be for quail only. It added that this means every other bird is considered protected during this period.
FKNK trying to hinder democracy – BirdLife Malta
BirdLife stated that the FKNK are trying to hinder democracy.
It added that public consultation through a referendum is a democratic right. No degree of itimidation will stop BirdLife Malta from showing that the Government administration is not interested in protecting nature.
BirdLife said the hunting referendum was held during the same days as the Local Council elections, which is a natural expense in the democratic process of Malta, and even more so as the Finance Minister at the time had stated the referendum had cost 4.6 million euro. BirdLife concluded that in its opinion the 4.6 million euro figure was inflated, but insists that whatever the case, democracy has no price.