Nature lovers …………… with a gun

In his first Shadow Cabinet the Leader of the Opposition Bernard Grech has appointed a spokesperson for hunting and trapping. A responsibility which, parroting the Government, has not been included within the remit of the spokesperson for the environment.

In so doing, the PN too has given notice that it does not give a fig about Malta’s environmental responsibilities. Hunting and trapping are to be regulated in accordance to the environmental acquis, specifically in line with the provisions of the Birds Directive of the EU.

This government has consistently parked hunting and trapping far away from the environmental regulatory structures. The Wild Birds Study Unit was in 2013 divorced from the environmental setup and parked within the Ministry responsible for Agriculture, subsequently moving to the Ministry for Gozo.

The clear message delivered by both the PN and the Labour Party is that they do not consider hunting and trapping to be environmental issues. We have been aware of this for quite a long time.

Hunting and trapping should be regulated within a general environment framework, specifically as part of a realistic biodiversity strategy. This is the basic reason why greens object to spring hunting. It is during spring that nature has the possibility to regenerate. Not banning spring bird-hunting across the board is damaging to biodiversity. This is a basic environmental truth which needs to be accepted by all, and the sooner that this is done, the better.

NET TV reported on Wednesday that Edwin Vassallo was the PN’s spokesperson relative to “the defence of traditional hobbies” (Il-ħarsien tad-delizzji tradizzjonali). The PN, just like Labour, assess bird-hunting and trapping exclusively on their voting potential: they still do not have a clue of their serious environmental impact.

Meeting with the representatives of the hunters’ federation, FKNK, earlier this week, Bernard Grech ridiculously described hunters and trappers as nature lovers. Nature lovers with a gun. Bernard Grech wants to address the negative perception of hunters and trappers in the Maltese islands by green-washing them. 

Since when do nature lovers blast birds out of the sky or enclose them in cages?

Clearly Bernard Grech, and the PN which he leads, has got his environmental bearings mixed up. There is nothing new about it. It only signifies that the PN has not learnt anything from its experiences in the past years. Bootlicking hunters and trappers will not get it anywhere.

In an area of activity where laissez-faire is prevalent, one would have expected Bernard Grech to take up the case in favour of more rigorous regulation of hunting. His words, alas, encourage the abusive actions of those hunters who blast anything that flies, in particular protected birds. He should also be aware that the transition period relative to bird-trapping in the treaty regulating Malta’s EU accession has elapsed quite some time ago. This signifies that bird-trapping should have been abolished long ago on these islands. Bernard Grech’s comments are thus encouraging illegal activity. The rule of law is applicable to hunting and trapping too!

In January 2017, Bernard Grech’s predecessor had published an environmental policy for the PN entitled “A Better Quality of Life”.  The said document does not refer to hunting or trapping. It does however discuss biodiversity in general terms emphasising that in Malta, ecoystems and habitats are not adequately protected and their biodiversity is in decline. When the PN (like the PL) supports hunters and trappers it is reinforcing the frontal attack on biodiversity. Is it not about time that they come to their senses?

Bird trapping is already illegal. Hunting should be curtailed as much as possible and not further encouraged.

Environmentally the PN is as retrograde as ever.

published in The Malta Independent on Sunday : 24 January 2021

Lino Farrugia (jibda) jibla kliemu lura

turtle doves just shot


Lino Farrugia tal-FKNK lest li jaċċetta moratorium volontarju fuq il-kaċċa tal-gamiem. Qed jirrealizza li, minkejja l-opposizzjoni tiegħu u ta’ dawk li appoġġawh (fosthom il-Partit Laburista u l-Partit Nazzjonalista) tmiem il-kaċċa fir-rebbiegħa xorta qiegħed fil-qrib. Għalissa għall-gamiem.

Issa b’elf skuża Lino beda t-triq biex jibla kliemu lura. Għax issa anke l-FKNK qed taċċetta li l-gamiem hu fi stat vulnerabbli. Ma kienx jaċċetta dan sa ftit taż-żmien ilu.

Alternattiva Demokratika hi kontra l-kaċċa fir-rebbiegħa fil-prinċipju għax ir-rebbiegħa hu ż-żmien li l-għasafar kollha jbejtu u jitkattru.

Id-deċiżjoni tal-IUCN li tpoġġi lill-gamiem fuq ir-Red List tal-ispeċi li huma taħt theddida ilha ġejja u ilna nafu biha żmien twil.

Tajjeb li issa anke l-FKNK (minkejja li qed tipprova titfa’ d-dubji) qed tirrealizza li hemm bżonn waqfien tal-kaċċa fir-rebbiegħa fuq il-gamiem.

Daqsxejn tard. Imma qed naslu ukoll. Għax Lino Farrugia qed jibla lura kliemu. Kull waħda li qal.


L-ispanjulett u ċ-ċajta tas-sena

Waqt li l-Ministeru tal-Kaċċa, Nsib u ħwejjeġ oħra, ħabbar id-dati tal-istaġun tal-kaċċa fil-ħarifa, n-natura ħabbret li tlett spanjuletti  faqqsu u issa telqu mill-bejta tagħhom f’Għawdex. L-ewwel darba ghal bosta snin.

Sadanittant tħabbret ukoll iċ-ċajta tas-sena: l-għaqdiet tal-kaċċaturi mhux ser jittolleraw illegalitajiet fl-istaġun tal-kaċċa li jibda illum l-1 ta’ Settembru!





Is the abrogative referendum under threat ?

article 14. Referenda Act


Until Alternattiva Demokratika announced the abrogative referendum campaign  on spring hunting almost two years ago, few Maltese citizens were aware that they had such a right.  Now that this right has been used for the first time since it has been placed on the statute book, it is apparently under threat.

The hunters’ lobby is now aiming at curtailing the right to an abrogative referendum. The hunters maintain that when the Referenda Act was applied in trying to abrogate the regulations permitting spring hunting it was aiming at their rights – “minority rights” they said.

Hunters had presented these same arguments though their representatives for the consideration of the Constitutional Court, which shot them down last January. In fact the Constitutional Court in paragraphs 51 to 54 of its 24-page decision, considers this very point. The hunters, said the Constitutional Court, claim that their rights are minority rights. However no potential breach of a provision of the Constitution of Malta or of the European Convention of Human Rights have been indicated in their submissions. The Constitutional Court goes on to say the following :

“It is right to emphasise that in implementing majority rule the rights of the minority should be respected. However this respect is not attained, as suggested by the Federation [FKNK] by obstructing people from expressing themselves through a referendum.”  [Tassew illi d-dritt tal-maġġoranza għandu jitwettaq b’rispett lejn id-dritt tal-minoranza, iżda dan ir-rispett ma jinkisibx billi, kif trid il-Federazzjoni, il-poplu ma jitħalliex isemma’ leħnu f’referendum.]

This same argument  was also the subject of a petition to Parliament organised by the hunters’ lobby and presented in Parliament by Parliamentary Secretary Michael Falzon some months ago.  In recent days, comments have been made indicating that shortly we may be hearing of the government’s reactions to this petition. These reactions will most probably be in the form of proposals for amendments to the Referenda Act of 1973, in particular amendments to the provisions regulating the holding of an abrogative referendum – provisions which were originally approved by Parliament in 1996 and brought in force in 1998.

The provisions of  the Referenda Act in Malta providing for the holding of an abrogative referendum are already very restrictive.  From what has been stated, hunters want such provisions to be even more restrictive.  In this sense they have already made public a proposal that a definite time window within which signatures for an abrogative referendum have to be collected has to be established.  In Italian legislation, for example, there exists a 90-day window within which the collection of signatures has to be carried out. Such a time window may be a reasonable proposal within the Italian legal system, but then in Italy the number of voter signatures required to trigger the abrogative referendum process is proportionately much lower than that required in Malta.

The number of signatures required to kick-start the abrogative referendum process in Malta is 10 per cent of the registered voters. This currently stands at slightly under 34,000 signatures. In Italy, by contrast, half-a-million signatures – or the consent of five regional councils – is required. The number  of signatures required in Italy amount to approximately one per cent of the electorate, meaning that the corresponding requirement in Malta is ten times as much!

I will not speculate over how the government will seek to translate the hunters’ petition into legislation. I have limited myself to one specific proposal.

It is still unclear as to what type of amendments to the Referenda Act will be submitted by government. One thing is, however, very clear:  we need to keep our eyes wide open to ensure that our rights are not reduced.

The abrogative referendum is an important tool in our democratic society, even though it has been made use of only once in its 19-year existence.  Let us hope that government will not succumb to pressures to have it diluted or removed.

published in The Malta Indpendent on Sunday : 19 April 2015

Attenti ………. għax ġej ir-referendum

thallihomx 2

Tal-FKNK ilhom ftit għaddejjin bil-ħrafa li r-referendum tal-11 t’April hu l-ewwel minn sensiela ta’ referenda. Anzi hemm min qal li jiena u Arnold li ma tlajniex fil-Parlament irridu minflok immexxu lill-pajjiż bir-referendum! Allura skond dawn qed inħejju referendum wieħed wara l-ieħor, ovvjament biex inkunu nistgħu niggvernaw!

L-Imħallef Giovanni Bonello diġa spjega għaliex dan mhux possibli li jsir. Huwa biżżejjed li jħarsu lejn dawn l-aħħar dsatax-il sena [kemm ilha teżisti l-liġi dwar ir-referendum abrogattiv]. Taf kemm-il referendum abrogattiv kellna f’Malta? Xejn!

Dan hu l-babaw tar-referendum fuq id-delizzji li bih qed tipprova tbeżża’ l-FKNK. Issa kieku kien daqshekk faċli, ma taħsbux li kellna ftit iktar referenda tul is-snin?

Daqshekk huma ħrafa l-argumenti tal-FKNK !


L-FKNK: tad-daħq, kieku mhux tal-biki




Tal-IVA isselfu ritratt tiegħi u Arnold li użajna fil-kampanja għall-Parlament Ewropewf’Mejju 2014. Qed ixerrdu riklam li fih qed jgħidu “Tħallihomx jużawk”. Iktar minn hekk wieħed jismu Jonathan  Bonnici għoġbu jżejjen  ir-ritratt tiegħi u ta’ Arnold bil-kumment “ma telawx fil gvern u jridu jiggvernaw bir-referendums! Thallijomx”.

Ilna nafu li l-lobby tal-kaċċa huma kontra l-kunċett tar-referendum. Għax jidhrilhom li hu iktar faċli tagħmilha ta’ bully ma partit politiku u tieħu minn għandu dak li trid milli tagħmel l–argument tiegħek mal-poplu u tbaxxi rasek għar-rieda tiegħu f’referendum.

Ir-referendum li jsir bħala riżultat tal-ġbir tal-firem huwa għodda demokratika li f’Malta ilu magħna 19-il sena imma qatt ma intuża.

Dan id-dritt demokratiku ser nagħmlu użu minnu għall-ewwel darba nhar il-11 t’April .

Bir-referendum ma tiggvernax! Imma bir-referendum (abrogattiv) hu possibli li l-poplu Malti jibdel id-deċiżjoni żbaljata li ħadu l-Gvernijiet Maltin dwar il-kaċċa fir-rebbiegħa.

Nhar il-11 t’April il-poplu Malti jiddeċiedi bil-vot tiegħu. U kulħadd ibaxxi rasu.

Il-gwerra tal-FKNK

turtle doves just shotturtle dove 2


Mela l-FKNK qaltilna li din hi gwerra. Ir-referendum, jiġifieri.

Damu ma ndunaw li din hi gwerra biex tieqaf il-qerda tal-għasafar. Hi gwerra li aħna tal-LE niġġielduha bil-ħsieb, mhux bis-senter. Bir-raġuni mhux bil-ġlied, l-insulti u t-tgħajjir.

Nhar il-11 t’April ser ngħidu LE għall-kaċċa fir-rebbiegħa. LE għall-qerda. LE għall-gwerra kontra n-natura.

L-FKNK iridu gwerra li teqred. Hi l-opportunita biex ngħidulhom LE, għax fir-rebbiegħa aħna irridu s-sliem. Irridu ngawdu l-kampanja ………………. u mela gwerra.


Il-logħob tan-nar u r-referendum abrogattiv

fireworks 11

Il-logħob tan-nar, il-manifattura u l-ħażna tiegħu huma regolati mill-Ordinanza dwar l-Esplożivi [Kapitlu 33 tal-Liġijiet ta’ Malta] u r-Regolamenti dwar Kontroll ta’ Xogħolijiet tan-Nar u Esplożivi Oħra [Legislazzjoni sussidjarja 33.03 – Avviż Legali 243 tal-1998 kif emendat].

Kemm l-ordinanza (artiklu 3) kif ukoll ir-regolamenti (regolament 4) jipprovdu li ħadd ma jista’ jipproduċi logħob tan-nar jew jaħraq xogħol tan-nar jekk ma jkollux liċenzja li joħroġ il-Kummissarju tal-Pulizija. Ir-regolamenti jipprovdu ukoll għal liċenzji differenti u għal taħriġ li tkun trid issegwi qabel ma tista’ tagħmel eżami biex il-Kummissarju tal-Pulizija jiddeċiedi jekk għandux joħroġ liċenzja. Hemm ukoll il-ħtieġa ta’ liċenzja għal kamra fejn jinħadem in-nar.

Li kieku kellu jsir referendum dwar il-logħob tan-nar dan ikun jista’ jsir biss biex jitneħħew dawn l-artikli fil-liġi (l-Ordinanza) u fir-regolamenti. Il-konsegwenza jekk referendum bħal dan jgħaddi tkun li ħadd ma jkollu bżonn liċenzja, u allura kulħadd ikun jista’ jagħmel li jrid. Nafu li l-iskop tar-regolamenti u l-liġijiet dwar il-kmamar tan-nar qegħdin hemm biex jgħinu fil-protezzjoni tal-ħajja u s-saħħa ta’ dawk li jaħdmu il-logħob tan-nar.

Referendum abrogattiv dwar il-logħob tan-nar jista’ biss ineħħi l-liġijiet u r-regolamenti li hemm u l-konsegwenza tkun mhux li jispiċċa d-delizzju, imma li ħadd ma jkollu bżonn permess jew liċenzja.

Tal-FKNK dan ma jgħiduhx. Staqsuhom għalfejn qed jgħaddukom biż-żmien.

Iż-Żwiemel u r-Referendum Abrogattiv

horse 11


Il-Kodiċi tal-Liġijiet tal-Pulizija – Kapitlu 10 tal-Liġijiet ta’ Malta – jistabilixxi li ħadd ma jista’ jżomm żiemel sakemm ma jkollux liċenzja.

L-Ordinanza dwar Imħatri f’tiġrijiet [kapitlu 78 tal-liġijiet ta’ Malta] tittratta il-post fejn isiru it-tiġrijiet (racecourses). Tipprovdi li l-Ministru jista’ jagħti (jew jirtira) liċenzji.

Li kieku kellu jsir referendum abrogattiv dwar iż-żwiemel dan ikun jista’ jsir biss biex jitneħħew dawn l-artikli fil-liġi. Il-konsegwenza jekk referendum abrogattiv bħal dan jgħaddi tkun li ħadd ma jkollu bżonn liċenzja, u allura kulħadd ikun jista’ jagħmel li jrid.

Referendum abrogattiv dwar iż-żwiemel jista’ biss ineħħi l-liġijiet li hemm u l-konsegwenza tkun mhux li jispiċċa d-delizzju, imma li ħadd ma jkollu bżonn permess jew liċenzja.

Lino Farrugia tal-FKNK din ma qalilkomx. Staqsuh għaliex qed jgħaddikom biż-żmien.


Wara Ralph Cassar u Marco Spiteri ……….


Wara li l-FKNK ilmentaw minn kummenti ta’ Ralph Cassar (AD) u Marco Spiteri (PN) kunsilliera f’Ħ’Attard, il-Bord tal-Governanza tal-Kunsilli Lokali intervjena immedjatament.

Fil-kummenti tagħhom Ralph Cassar u Marco Spiteri qalu li fir-referendum abrogattiv li ser isir nhar il-11 t’April 2015 huma ser jivvutaw kontra l-kaċċa fir-rebbiegħa. Għandhom opinjoni u kienu kapaċi jesprimuha. Għax esprimew l-opinjoni tagħhom fuq il-facebook page tal-Kunsill Lokali ta’ Ħ’Attard jidher li tal-FKNK iddarsu u ilmentaw mas-Segretarju Parlamentari nkarigat mill-Kunsilli Lokali. Kitbu lil Josè Herrera flok ma kitbu lil Stefan Buontempo!

F’deċiżjoni li ta’ l-bieraħ, il-Bord tal-Governanza Lokali ddeċieda li l-Kunsilliera Lokali mhux biss għandhom “dritt” talli fuq kollox għandhom ukoll “id-dmir” illi jiftħu ħalqhom u jsemmgħu leħinhom.

Il-Kunsilliera Lokali, qal Dr Joe Mifsud, President tal-Bord ta’ Governanza Lokali, huma rapprezentanti tal-pubbliku, u l-pubbliku għandu dritt li jkun jaf kif jaħsbuha r-rappreżentanti tiegħu.

Ta’ l-inqas, għand hawn min għandu moħħu f’postu f’dan il-pajjiż.

Imma Kunsilliera hawn ħafna iżjed. Ikun tajjeb li wara Cassar u Spiteri jkun hemm iżjed li jsemmgħu leħinhom.  Mhux jibqgħu ħalqhom magħluq kif iriduhom tal-FKNK.