The head of Malta’s hunting federation has insisted that a telephone system used to report bird catches is working, despite Malta weather try and fail to access it.
FKNK chairman Lucas Micallef said that while the reporting of the captures may not have been “immediate”, it nevertheless happened.
He acknowledged some issues with an iOS version of the reporting app, but said an Android version worked perfectly and hunters could also call the Wild Bird Regulatory Unit to report catches over the phone.
Malta weather tried calling the WBRU number on Friday afternoon and again on Saturday morning. No one answered the phone.
Hunters are required to report any doves shot to the WBRU. A 1,500 bird limit is currently in place for over 8,000 licensed hunters. If the hunting bag limit is reached before April 30, the season will be closed.
Anti-hunting NGO Birdlife Malta first raised concerns about the reporting system on Friday, noting that several hunters had claimed on Facebook that they were unable to register their catch.
Birdlife described the reporting system as a “farce” and said it does not believe it accurately reflects catches made by hunters.
But Micallef said the claims were “absurd” and that any real complaints should be directed to the WBRU itself, rather than posted on Facebook.
“Clearly the main effort of these comments was not to complain, it’s obvious what they’re trying to do with only a few days left in the season,” he said.
“How, from these comments about the non-functioning of the system, can we conclude that the catch limit has been reached without proof? Are they gods? How the hell do they know?
“You can’t just say something without any evidence to back it up. It’s really amateurish of them to keep reporting us to the EU just to win an argument. You can’t keep doing things to hurt people just because you disagree with them, that’s abusing a minority group.
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