Hunters have described the naming of Qawra Point as a nature reserve where hunting is no longer permitted as a “collective punishment against hunters”.

Qawra Point was declared a nature reserve on Tuesday. This means all forms of trapping and hunting from the area are now banned.

The development had been promised by Environment Minister Aaron Farrugia in October 2021 when he had said Qawra Point will be designated a no-hunting area.

In a statement on Thursday, the hunters’ federation (FKNK) said the development “violates the regulation that was promulgated after the imposition of the last collective punishment in April 2015, which provides for the recommendation of the Malta Ornis Committee to the minister, before the imposition of any collective punishment”.

It noted that the same proposal of BirdLife Malta to stop hunting at Qawra Point submitted to the Ornis Committee in 2017 as well as in 2019, was not accepted by the committee due to objections and protests raised by the representatives of the FKNK.

FKNK said that the continuous erosion of the little land available for hunting, will never attribute in any way towards the suppression of illegalities.

On the other hand, the use of sustainable hunting as a tool for the conservation of the natural environment is the way forward, as this is used in every other country in Europe and around the world, it said.

Hunters, the FKNK said, have been deprived of their last ideal piece of land from where they could legally try to take some wildfowl.

It said it will take the necessary legal advice regarding this situation.

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