The Federation for Hunters & Trappers(FKNK)  has again said that government decisions against hunting and trapping have caused some of its members to suffer psychiatric disorders.

"Following a string of events in the recent past that saw a marked increase in psychiatric disorders within its members, the FKNK is seriously concerned that the lack of clear decisions by Government with regard to the live-capture of birds, which same species of birds can be legally shot, has further increased the problem," the FKNK said in a statement.

"Thousands of members have spent thousands of euros and put in hard work since last February, when these trappers paid their trapping licenses for this year, only now to hear that the government has seen fit to cancel the trapping of turtle dove and quail and has not yet decided about the opening of the trapping season of song thrush and golden plover. This has shattered trappers' long awaited legal expectations besides their passions and dreams," the federation said.

It added that in a recent letter, it told Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi that what the government seemed to be ignoring, whether knowingly or not, was the fact that this state of affairs, where persons' minds were seen to be toyed with by lack of standardisation and direction, was seriously affecting hunters' and trappers' very lives and causing serious devastating consequences on these persons, on their minds and their family values.

The federation said it was urging the government to correctly apply a derogation to permit trapping for huntable species and to put in place another derogation to permit live-finch capturing.

The FKNK called on Dr. Gonzi's better judgement in taking a decision "that is not only moulded on science and law but also on the human element."

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