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After ‘Foreign’ Couple Allegedly Beat Up Gozitan Trapper, FKNK And BirdLife Call Out ‘Escalation’ Of Violence

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An incident allegedly involving a Gozitan trapper who was thrown to the ground and beaten by a foreign couple has led to both Maltese hunter and bird conservationist groups to call for a de-escalation of violence in all forms.

The incident, which has been reported to the police, occurred as trapping season is opened and a controversial ongoing research on the migratory routes of songbirds is underway. 

FKNK, the hunter’s lobby group, placed the blame for the incident at BirdLife Malta’s feet, said their provocations were “intensifying” as more and more people, many of whom were “foreign”, were roaming the countryside “without respect and with absolute arrogance,” before describing what happened to the trapper.

“A foreign couple approached the trapper in Gozo and told him he was trapping illegally. Instead of reporting the case to police, the man began pushing the trapper until he fell, and jumped on him and began punching him,” they said,

“This wasn’t enough, and as the trapper lay dazed on the ground, the man shouted to the woman to hold his legs so he could continue punching him in the face. It was only due to a hunter who happened to be nearby that the attack was stopped. Following the attack, the trapper was taken to hospital due to his injuries, especially on his face, and he made a report to the Gozitan police,” FKNK said.

The hunters’ lobby group also said that this was not the only incident that had faced recently, referring to at least two others incidents, and appealed to the government and the police to prevent these types of attacks occurring in Malta so that hunters and trappers “could legally enjoy the traditional passion in peace as their forefathers did”.

BirdLife Malta condemned the attack, saying they were against violence no matter who was targeted.

“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 to environmentalists and BirdLife Malta staff, volunteers and members together with members of other environmental organisations,” they said.

Lovin Malta met with FKNK and BirdLife in Mi?ieb following the signing of a controversial deal that gave priority access rights and maintenance duties to members of the FKNK just this month.

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