A Maltese man who was reported for using a bird caller while hunting has boasted to a leading activist about paying the fine and pledged to do it again.
A screenshot of the conversation held between the man and Cami Applegren, who reported him, shows the man using vulgar language as he ridicules the €250 fine issued for using a bird caller.
“I was only fined €250 and paid. I have another cassette as well,” he said. “I will still go to Qalet Marku and anywhere else.”
Qalet Marku is situated on the coast of Baħar iċ-Ċagħaq and was once a popular camping site.
Using the message as an example, Applegren spoke about the need for increased legislation when it comes to illegal hunting practices.
“This is the reason I call on the government to increase the fine for the illegal use of bird callers when hunting,” she said. “For the sake of the people and the Malta Police Force.”
The use of electronic bird callers to attract birds for hunting and trapping is illegal in Malta but the offence is only punishable by a fine of €250.
As such, “people are laughing in the face of justice” and are willing to break the law again, knowing that the consequences are close to nothing.
“I think it’s time for justice to up its game, or shall this be accepted behaviour by people who spend their day breaking the law?” Applegren questioned.
According to BirdLife Malta, 2020 was the worst year for illegal hunting with 210 protected birds shot throughout the year.
Just months after these statistics were revealed, the Maltese government steamrolled a controversial agreement to grant access to Aħrax and Miżieb to hunting lobby FKNK, prompting activists to protest at what they described as a land grab.
“Intimidation and rude behavior won’t make me back off. Rather the opposite,” Applegren ended.
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