Comparisons are odious. In Europe there are some seven million hunters in an area of 1.7 million square miles and a population of well over five billion.

In Malta, there are an estimated 10,000 hunters with a population of 420,000 inhabitants in just 121 square miles. While European hunters amount to less than 1.3 per cent of the population, in Malta they amount to nearly 2.5 per cent, or twice the European average.

The European average shows 24 hunters per square mile, but in Malta we have 83 per square mile, or 3.5 times the average for Europe. These facts seem to be ignored.

Malta is also one of the major routes which sees birds channelled through a funnel during the migration season, making the bird density on the island very much higher than continental Europe where the birds disperse. Why do the local hunters compare themselves with European counterparts considering the limited size of the islands? Some of the hunters seem to be greedy. Even Jesus warned against greed. Hunters can co-exist so long as they understand the position of the other side and not seek to have only their way.

Political leaders must lead and maintain order and ensure that nature and the environment include the birds on which hunters do not have a monopoly. Politicians could, and must, maintain a neutral stance.

It is unacceptable that they favour hunters and trappers. They cannot support a minority against the clear wish of the utmost majority. But votes come before justice and conscience. Why are 97.5 per cent of the population deprived of enjoying the beauty of exotic birds flying north and south, at least on alternate days?

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