The hunting lobby group FKNK has said that any ban on children being allowed to accompany hunters out in the field would constitute a breach of their human rights, in a letter sent to various cabinet members today.
The letter follows the publication by BirdLife of a video showing a child handling a shotgun and being taught how to aim and shoot somewhere in Miżieb and subsequent calls for a ban on children participating in hunting activities.
“This latest exaggerated request by BirdLife Malta, to ban hunters from being accompanied by minors while hunting, instigates more aggravation towards hunters, which can only lead to direct confrontations,” the FKNK said.
The FKNK argued that any proposed ban would breach Article 2 of the Protocol to the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms which calls on states to respect the rights of parents to ensure education in conformity with their own “religious and philosophical convictions”.
Any such law, the FKNK said, would be discriminatory.
It also pointed to the Council of Europe’s Charter on Hunting and Biodiversity, which promotes the continuity of hunting as one of the important instruments of game management.
“Preventing young people from participating in hunting leads to a situation where there aren’t enough hunters to sustain the conservation of the natural environment,” read the letter.
The FKNK argued that hunting was a means for young people to learn more about the natural environment and to improve their wellbeing as a result of spending time outdoors.
Finally, the FKNK said that banning children from hunting would “de facto eliminate” the possibility of the tradition being passed down to future generations.
Do you think it would be a breach of hunters’ rights?