Rabbit may be Malta’s most beloved meat, but did you know there’s an entire tradition dedicated to hunting wild rabbit on the island?
In a new video uploaded by Maltese MEP Alex Agius Saliba, viewers are briefly allowed into the world of wild rabbit hunters in Malta, and their unique tools: ferrets and Pharaoh Hounds.
“This is an important part of our culture, that is characteristic of the Maltese,” Agius Saliba said, flanked by two wild rabbit hunters.
Pharaoh Hounds, or kelb tal-fenek, are a Maltese breed of hunting dogs, specifically used to traverse Malta’s rocky terrain.
The hounds are used to seek out wild rabbits, while ferrets then flush the rabbits out of their holes for the hounds to then help catch them.
Some local hunters speak about the training of the ferrets and hounds, saying it’s a year-round process, “just like teaching school-children”.
And one hunter opened up about the specificity of Pharaoh Hounds when it comes to hunting in Malta’s environment.
“These dogs are especially suited to working in high temperatures, they have two glands under their tail that function to regulate its heat when it’s too hot,” he said.
The FKNK, a Maltese hunting and trapping organisation, said that the tradition was given a boost over the last few years, though it still remained a tradition celebrated by a small number of people.
Did you know about wild rabbit hunting in Malta? Let us know in the comments below