The Federation for Hunting and Conversation (FKNK) has congratulated the Malta Taxidermy Federation for organising an "excellent" exhibition which included a taxidermy show and competition of mounted bird and animal trophies, held on Sunday at the Buskett Gardens.
The exhibition was inaugurated by the Parliamentary Secretary responsible for Animal Rights Roderick Galdes.
His presence at the exhibition drew considerable criticism from Birdlife Malta.
In a statement, the NGO said Mr Galdes' position is untenable after collaborating in the organisation of an event promoting the killing and stuffing of birds and animals.
"It is deplorable that the person given the remit to safeguard animal rights has gone so far as to promote taxidermy, an act considered despicable throughout the world," Birdlife Malta.
"BirdLife Malta has lost all faith and trust in the Parliament Secretariat following its collaboration with two people found guilty of possession of protected birds including birds of prey.
"These two people along with Mr Galdes are trying to promote that killing a bird or an animal to stuff it should be praised, celebrated and even further awarded. It is disgusting that even animals protected by international law were exhibited including rhinoceros and elephant tusks.
"This event was morally and ethically wrong and having our country's government representative for animal rights organise, endorse and participate in this deplorable event is shameful," the statement read.
The FKNK hit back at Birdlife Malta's criticism of the event.
"The art and craft of taxidermy (crucial for the birth of ornithology, besides other sciences) is highly esteemed, acknowledged, and greatly popular throughout the world in fact, besides also being indispensable for natural history museums worldwide...
"Birdlife's irony is even more evident since they took the Parliamentary Secretary to task for opening the Exhibition, when the same Birdlife refused to regularise and subsequently regulate local taxidermy. A proposal that was put forward by the same Parliamentary Secretary's relative department last year," the FKNK said.