Birdlife Malta is set to file a judicial protest against the Prime Minister’s decision to put the hunting regulator in the hands of the Gozo Ministry, which is currently being led by a hunter who had pledged to defend hunters rights.
Birdlife will give further details about the court application outside of court at 11:30am.
The Wild Birds Regulation Unit fell under the remit of Minister Clint Camilleri while he served as a parliamentary secretary in the Environment Ministry. However, Abela has kept the portfolio in his hands despite the change of position.
Meanwhile, Camilleri has often been the focus of criticism for the government’s lax attitude towards enforcement of hunting and trapping regulations.
Gozo has been a glaring loophole in the government’s enforcement of hunting. Former Environment Minister Jose Herrera had even said that the culture of omertà and lack of resources means it is difficult to do so.
Critics have also questioned why the Gozo Ministry, which is responsible for all Gozitan affairs, will now be in charge of the WBRU for both islands.
Camilleri was promoted to the role of Gozo Minister following the resignation of Justyne Caruana. Days before Abela had made him the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries, and Animal Rights.
“The decision to transfer the Wild Birds Regulation Unit (WBRU) – that serves as the regulator on hunting and trapping in Malta – to the Ministry of Gozo under Minister Clint Camilleri, himself a hunter and trapper, is a diabolical move which sends the wrong message. The only consideration here is purely electoral,” BirdLife Malta said in a statement.
Malta is currently facing Infringement Proceedings with the EU for its trapping policy.