The hunters' federation will be forking out just €200 each for Miżieb and Aħrax woodlands every year, in exchange for exclusive access to the two sites during hunting hours. 

The three-year agreement, handing over the management and operation of the sites, despite public outrage, to Federazzjoni Kaċċaturi Nassaba Konservazzjonisti, was signed in a private meeting on Friday.

Apart from the annual €200 for each site as consideration for the grant, the FKNK will also be responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of the sites at its own cost.

The sites will be accessible to the public outside of hunting season hours, and these timings should be clearly indicated on signage at the sites. The hunting seasons last two weeks in spring and five months in autumn (from September till January).

It has been left up to FKNK to “make available to the public” areas designated for picnics, which will still be inaccessible during the hunting season. 

An excerpt from the deal signed in private between the government and hunters lobby FKNK.An excerpt from the deal signed in private between the government and hunters lobby FKNK.

The foreshore surrounding the coastal perimeter will remain in the public domain and sites must remain accessible to the public: “the foreshore remains excluded from the scope of this agreement, and access to it shall remain open and free of charge at all times”.

FKNK will also be entrusted with ensuring there are no illegalities “within reasonable power”, and those involved in illegal activities will be held personally liable for such actions. 

Law enforcement and other officials can access the sites at all time.

Hunters to be insured

Meanwhile, FKNK members who make use of the sites should be “insured against third party liability, including legal costs and expenses, in respect of death or bodily injury to any person, or loss of or damage to third party property".

The agreement also calls for a monitoring board, chaired by a person appointed by the Lands Authority and six members.

Two of these will be appointed by the Lands Authority and the Mellieħa local council. The ministry responsible for the lands authority, and the FKNK will appoint two members each.

 

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