THE INHERENT DANGERS OF HUNTING ON MALTA AND CYPRUS
Dear Europeans, Birders and Animal Rights Activists,
I make no apologies for x-posting this and hope others will do the same!
I am becoming increasingly concerned that the hunting community in
Europe hope to make inroads into the effectiveness of the EU Bird and
Habitat Directives. My concerns are on 2 levels:
1) Despite attempts to discover EXACTLY what is being discussed in
Brussels in the working group on the "implementation of the bird
directive", in which the European Hunters' organisation FACE and
BirdLife International are represented, I have been fobbed off with
mails and telephone calls stating things are in good hands. That's as it
may be; but the promised updates on the course of the discussions never
materialise. Protection of birds and their habitats is NOT a state
secret and it is WRONG for participants, particularly public servants
and conservation organisations, to allow themselves to be gagged! All
European citizens, and birders who through their membership of their
national organisation ensure their financial and conservation success -
and through them BirdLife International - have a democratic right to be
kept REGULARLY informed of progress. This is not a criticism of these
organisations per se, they do important and essential work, but they do
depend on their members and, I believe, are answerable to them. I am
delighted to get private mails 'off the record' and 'don't mention my
name please'; but this is not what we are all campaigning for - not for
secure employment in the 'nature industry'.
2) We, and the birds, are likely to lose hard fought ground if we make
compromises. The hunters are waiting in the wings ready to pounce. Many
of them ignore the law anyway and massacre birds throughout Europe. They
bide their time and laugh up their sleeves at our inability to present a
common front or, except for a small and courageous minority, to take
effective action. That's the inherent danger in the ongoing negotiations
on permitting 'exceptions' to the directives for Cyprus and Malta.
Neither of these countries depends economically on the hunting and
trapping of migrant or other wild birds; unless of course to encourage
visits by foreign hunters - or to make huge tax-free gains on the
illegal sale and consumption of blackcaps, robins et al. The proclaimed
reasons - culture and tradition - is as outdated and barbaric as the
Spanish Inquisition. We no longer have legal executions of humans (in
Europe). Let's stop the slaughter of birds - but how??
A EUROPEAN PETITION (other worldwide contributions gratefully accepted)
In 1999/200 two and a half MILLION signatures (correct me please if I am
wrong) were collected in protest - La Petition - against the extension
of French hunting seasons into the migration and breeding periods. We
can do it again and I am ready, unless there is a wave of protest
against my presumption, to use Proact as the vehicle for this campaign.
As accession for both countries is planned in 2004 we have little time
to lose if we do not want to be faced with a 'fait accompli'.
I cannot do it all on my own and would be grateful for any offers of
assistance, advice from La Petition organisers, text drafting, publicity
across Europe and elsewhere and accessible web space where signatures
can be collected.
I look forward to comments and offers of support.
Proact, campaigning for birds and their habitats .... joining costs
nothing...doing nothing costs birds! Join in at < www.proactnow.org/team
- and get 'Keep Birds Free' as a bonus!
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