The Federation for Hunting and Conservation – Malta (FKNK) has invited newly elected Members of the European Parliament to join the European Parliament’s ‘Hunting’ Intergroup.
FKNK says that it sent a formal letter inviting the candidates to join the Intergroup, ‘once this is reconstituted in the coming months.’
The group is understood to have been facilitated through the European body; FACE (European Federation for Hunting & Conservation).
FKNK says that through this group (which has existed since 1985), the MEPs ‘will have the possibility to set the agenda for biodiversity, hunting, trapping and countryside issues in the coming 5 years, based on scientific and biological principles.’
Can we count on your support?
In the FKNK’s questionnaire to MEP candidates running in the recent elections, only half of the four successful Labour candidates actually responded or showed their support for the re-establishment of the Intergroup.
While former Labour Prime Minister and re-elected MEP Alfred Sant responded only ‘Yes’ to the question, the newly elected MEP Alex Agius Saliba previously said that, ‘I am willing to give a push to re-establish the Hunting lobby Intergroup and also ready to sign and publicly support the attached manifesto.’ FKNK also states that both PL MEPs had requested meetings with them.
Furthermore, the FKNK council explains that during a meeting with Agius Saliba, the MEP, ‘reaffirmed his pledge that he will work to safeguard the traditional socio-cultural way-of-life passions of Maltese hunters and trappers in the European Parliament, and that he will immediate join the Intergroup once this is re-established.’
Interestingly, from the questionnaire replies for Miriam Dalli or Josianne Cutajar, neither actually provides an answer to the question. Dr Dalli actually states in her option for other information that she is, ‘primarily focused on the Environment Committee which discusses and acts upon issues related to hunting and biodiversity.’
Sammut and Engerer pledge support
Newsbook.com.mt finds that other prospective candidates, Robert Micallef, Fleur Vella and Felix Busuttil, who were also respondents to the questionnaire, also did not mention their support for the re-establishment of the Intergroup either. However, their fellow candidates Joe Sammut and Cyrus Engerer did pledge their support in their replies.
Sammut says, ‘I support such an initiative and commit myself to be part of it if elected.’
Engerer writes, ‘There has not been a Maltese MEP in the intergroup on biodiversity, hunting and countryside issues during the last two legislatures. I have already expressed my commitment to be part of this intergroup if I am elected to the European Parliament, the same commitment I gave 5 years ago.’
Labour MEPs Dr Miriam Dalli, Dr Alfred Sant and Josianne Cutajar, as well as the Nationalist MEPs David Casa and Dr Roberta Metsola, have been asked if they have received the formal invitation and if they will be supporting the move.