From: "John Cantelo" <>
Reply-To: "John Cantelo" <>
To: "UKbirdnet" <>
Subject: [UKBN] No Apologies for Proact
Date: Sun, 12 May 2002 12:57:51 +0100
I've read with mounting dismay the latest news regarding the avian charnel
house that is Malta. Although I thought Stuart Winter's proposal was OTT
and would prove to be counterproductive, I have every sympathy for his
at these outrages. If not a complete tourist boycott at the very least I'd
like to see every damn holiday brochure carrying a 'Health Warning' to
visitors so they know exactly what, however indirectly, their tourist dosh
is supporting. Before anyhow wants to accuse me of dual standards, I'd
start first with places like Myanmar (Burma) where there are cruelly
repressive regimes. (I'm always amazed how folk can get so worked up
Malta/Cyprus, but happily bird some country with an appalling civil rights
record - but then without that sort of cash flow I've never faced such a
moral dilema!). Sadly, I don't think such an 'Health Warning' would be
entered into voluntarily by the holiday trade nor enforced by legislation.
I doubt that nipping into your local travel agents and whacking sticky
labels on brochures would work, but it'd be a start.
So what can we do? Well, I have one proposal. Henceforth the rules of
UKBN be changed so that all those who sign up automatically join 'Proact'.
Those that have some bizarre and fanciful notion that 'our' birds somehow
stop being our concern as they leave our airspace can form a new discussion
group. With all deference to the 'Celtic fringe' I suggest this group be
called LEBN (Little Englanders Bird Net).
I should add that the above proposal has not been previewed by either
Conlin nor the UKBN hierachy so I'll apologise now for any embarrassment I
may have caused, but it seems a good idea to me! In the meantime please do
not leave your seat or your keyboard until you have followed the
instructions below -
1 - click onto www.proactnow.org/team
2 - read the information David has provided (I promise that if you can't
sign up to it with a clear conscious either you're brain dead or are in the
wrong discussion group)
3 - send the message 'I want to join the Proact team & be kept up to date'
4 - email the above instruction to any/all birders you can think of!
DON"T READ ON ... AT THIS POINT .... AND I MEAN RIGHT NOW .... FOLLOW
There, not difficult is it? Shamefully - after meaning to join for ages -
only did so only a few minutes ago. David is too much of a gentleman to
so but the numbers of birders from the UK 'on the team' is shamefully
small - 108 for England and 5 each for Scotland and Wales. Come ON! My
local RSPB Group has three times as many members and the RSPB as whole
nearly 10,000 times more. And FIVE for Scotland and Wales - where's your
pride? You're making us English look good for God's sake. More of you'd
get together to twitch a Chaffinch (spodiogenys race of course)!
And finally let's keep two things in mind:-
1 - in scale and numbers (1,000 dead and dying raptors in one weekend!)
is a much greater problem in Malta than in the UK. I make no apologies
those killing off our BoPs - they deserve all they get - but, crucially,
authorities are trying to enforce the law, pro rata far fewer BoPs are
killed here (Malta is only 32ha!), the public is massively in favour of
protection and, as a reflection of this, such things happen illicitly here,
not brazenly and in defiance of the law.
2 - however appalling the current slaughter is, should Malta gain an
exemption to bird protection legislation then the floodgates could open
wide. The most effective group to join to guard against this eventuality
'Proact' ... which is OK cos you've just joined HAVEN'T YOU?
And if David doesn't email us tonight to say UK Proact numbers have doubled
or trebled then I'm thoroughly ashamed of the damn lot of you!
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