Anybody listening to the news last night might have heard that the British naturalist Chris Packham was detained by Maltese police, on charges brought against him by the Maltese hunting lobby. Here are the two final instalments – numbers 5 and 7, number 6 being a mere statement to say that he had been detained by Maltese police and therefore there is no need to see it.
Instalment five shows a very theatening and sinister confrontation with Maltese hunters who actually prevent him entering an area of public land. It’s extremely disturbing to think that the hunting fraternity on Malta, comprising less than 1% of the Maltese population, can be having such a detrimental effect on the lives of the other 99% of the population that they cannot even enter their own national lands without fear of intimidation, especially considering that Malta is a very recent member of the European Union and the Eurozone and therefore should have been properly vetted before being allowed membership. Clearly this does not seem to have happened. It’s a shame too.
But many Maltese people are genuine heroes and Packham takes the trouble to make this point and show you who these people are. Ironically, Malta is actually a place I liked so much I visited it twice in two years because of the remarkable landscape, history, archaeology and romance. Had I know our migratory wildlife was been massacred there to such an extent I might never have gone there even once, although I am glad I did. However, listen to what the Pacman has to say and make up your own minds, and if you are Irish, then ask the canvassers on your doorstep about this issue. The EU HQ should be more than a well-paid job for Irish politicians.
Tonight’s bulletin from Malta by Chris Packham shows that what he has witnessed has taken its toll on the great naturalist. You can only see so much senseless killing and maiming of any creatures before you just can’t take anymore. How the volunteers of Birdlife Malta manage to continue their work in the face of such adversity and thuggery is beyond me. The inability to feel empathy is the hallmark of the sociopath/psychopath, as is egotism and the perverted sense of power which the thrill-kill poachers of Malta are exhibiting. Why are people with these psychological tendencies allowed by Malta to possess firearms? This might seem a rhethorical question but it’s actually a legal one. The migrant birds that fly across Malta nest in Europe and are therefore definitely part of the flora and fauna of Europe. They are also, therefore, definitely the heritage of those countries in which they roost. So a question immediately raises its head: what value of damages does Malta owe each country in Europe whose heritage it is permitting by inaction, to be destroyed? This year I have seen only five swallows and it’s almost April – how many of the swallows that nest in Wicklow have been killed by Maltese poachers due to the failure of the Maltese government and administration to enforce the law? It’s an important question, and it almost certainly will have to be answered in the very near future. Look at the amount of work one veterinarian in Malta has to deal with and already you will find sums beginning to add up:
I know visitors to this blog will be waiting for more spring updates, and I have quite a few and will be adding more very soon. However, I am continuing my support for Chris Packham’s work in Malta this week, and in the bulletin that was shown yesterday evening he revealed a very ugly fact about Malta: that the ordinary people of Malta are being denied their right to enjoy their own landscape by the selfish machinations of the aggressive hunting fraternity there. Malta is supposed to be a republic, but in this bulletin you can see quite clearly that the rights of the hunters to kill our migratory birds is being enforced by certain elements within Malta’s own police force. It is worrying to think that the elements we so clearly recognise as belonging to a dictatorship are so clearly visible in a country that is a full member of the European Union. Is Malta too small for Europe to care what happens there? It shouldn’t be. Remember, the heritage that is being destroyed is the natural heritage belonging to all of Europe, and to Africa.
Many of the birds that get killed in Malta this spring will not return to see the landscape of Wicklow in which they were raised and in which they first learned to fly and survive. Bear in mind, it is a very strange thing for middle aged men to be shooting small harmless creatures for nothing more than the perverse pleasure of killing – should such men be allowed to weapons at all since they enjoy killing to such a degree? What else might such people be capable of doing that is less obvious?