Lino Farrugia, CEO of the hunting federation FKNK, has suspended himself from the national hunting committee following an incident involving Wild Birds Regulation Unit head Richard Lia.
In a statement, the FKNK said it would like to apologise to Lia “if he felt in any way bothered by what happened” at the ORNIS Committee yesterday and confirmed that “this serious incident will be discussed internally”.
BirdLife Malta, who also sits on the committee, had described the incident as a “physical attack” which forced the ORNIS Committee to suspend its meeting.
“While we want to show our solidarity with Mr. Lia, we cannot understand how in this day and age we still have the FKNK lobby led by people who would resort to physical abuse to get what they want. This is unacceptable. We have written to the Ministers concerned requesting immediate action and to suspend Farrugia once and for all from the ORNIS Committee,” BirdLife CEO Mark Sultana stated.
However, the FKNK played down the incident as “a small argument that has been interpreted as a physical attack”, without clarifying exactly what happened at the Committee.
“One would hope this situation is addressed from a fair perspective and that no one tries to gain any capital from this incident.”