The Malta Independent 4 December 2020, Friday

Trapper attacked by foreign couple - FKNK

Sunday, 25 October 2020, 13:36 Last update: about 2 months ago

The FKNK has said that a man was attacked by a foreign couple while legally trapping in Gozo.

The lobby said that BirdLife Malta was intensifying its provocation, "even through the aid of their foreign friends like CABS," of hunters and trappers now that the trapping season and recently announced research exercises had opened.

Trappers are allowed to trap protected songbirds as part of a study on their migration habits after a government decision on the matter was made. This has been a highly controversial issue.


The FKNK said that the latest victim of provocation was a Gozitan trapper who was legally trapping "according to the research rules."

"A foreign couple went onto the trapper and began alleging that he was doing something illegal, and instead of reporting to the police, the foreign man pushed the trapper onto the ground and began punching him."

"This wasn't enough, and the man called the woman to hold the trapper's feet so that he could continue punching him. It was thanks to a hunter who was close by that the attack stopped. The trapper went to hospital and suffered injuries, including to his face, and he filed a police report."

"While the police are investigating, the FKNK is also offering its help to trappers, even through the FKNK's lawyer.

"Another incident that was reported was when a couple, possibly also foreign, opened a cage for a songbird to escape, while the couple managed to run off before the trapper who owned the bird could have stopped them."

The FKNK blamed birdlife for the provocations as on 11 October, "they organised a protest in an FKNK reserve when the FKNK had a planned event on the same site."

The FKNK said that a confrontation would have been the easy road for the FKNK, but instead postponed the event.

BirdLife Malta also issued a statement on the matter.

The NGO condemned all forms of violence, "even when this violence or alleged violence takes place against hunters and trappers."

"This is a principle which BirdLife Malta has always valued since its inception. Any incident, however, is a drop in the ocean when compared to years of abuse, violence, intimidation and hate speech coming from many members of the hunting and trapping lobby and directed at environmentalists and BirdLife Malta staff, volunteers and members together with members of other environmental organisations," BirdLife Malta said.

BirdLife Malta calls on the authorities to enforce the law in all circumstances, both laws which regard bird protection and illegal hunting and trapping, and also in all other acts of violence.

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