By Matthew Vella
Parliamentary Secretary Roderick Galdes has taken umbrage at BirdLife's criticism of the government's efforts in curbing what has turned into a free-for-all out in the countryside, as Armed Forces personnel had to be deployed to apprehend poachers.
"Their attitude and criticism is unjust," Galdes said, of BirdLife's claim that the increase in security officers was a confirmation that illegal hunting had increased.
"It goes against BirdLife's argument that more enforcement is needed. One asks what their reaction would have been had we reduced the amount of people enforcing the rules."
This year's spring hunting season was launched on the steam of a promise by the Labour government to remove a fee for the spring hunting licence and without hunters having to wear an identification armband.
"This decision shows that the government is not ready to tolerate illegalities, even if it permits legal hunting. The AFM soldiers patrolling nature reserves' boundaries is assisting police officers to carry out their surveillance effectively," Galdes said.
Up to 28 soldiers have been made available to assist the police in controlling spring hunting. More....