Updated 1.40pm with Camilleri's reaction

Animal Welfare Parliamentary Secretary Clint Camilleri, a hunter, took a swipe at the Majjistral Park Supervisory Board shortly after it “strongly advised” against the increase in the hours when hunting is permitted in the Park.

In a tweet carrying the Times of Malta story, Mr Camilleri, said: "meanwhile, still no mention of the board's vision for the neglected park".

Sources close to NGOs expressed disgust at his reaction, saying he was indirectly showing he disagreed with the decision against the extension in hunting hours while attacking NGOs.

"He even had the nerve to comment about 'priorities' with a hashtag! What are the priorities according to him? That hunting hours are extended?"

The new board, appointed recently by government to oversee the management of the Majjistral Nature and History Park, decided at its first meeting on Tuesday to ratify the decision of the previous board to reject any further encroachments on the park’s visiting hours.

The decision was carried by a majority of seven to one.

The current arrangement allows a full and pleasurable experience to nature lovers and students while permitting hunting in the earlier hours of the morning

The hunting hours were originally laid down in the park's regulations by Legal Notice 217 of 2013. These had been limited to 9am, with hunters in possession of firearms having to physically leave the park by 9.30am.

The decision was based upon the need to allow the large number of school trips and other visits to the park to take place uninterrupted after such hours, to provide school children and others with a full experience of nature and history, and was thus a compromise to accommodate the young, local nature lovers and the growing number of foreign visitors to our islands in search of nature and their outstanding coastal areas.

These hunting hours had then been increased to 10am, amending the original regulations, pushing school visits back one hour. Under these circumstances, the new board confirmed its commitment to stick to the current arrangement which has been a sustainable solution for all stakeholders as it allows a full and pleasurable experience to nature lovers and students while permitting hunting in the earlier hours of the morning.

The park is managed by the Heritage Parks Federation, made up of Din l-Art Ħelwa, Gaia Foundation and Nature Trust Malta.

The Supervisory Government Board is composed of eight members, three representing these three NGOs, three representing government, one representing the Mellieħa Local Council, and a chairperson.

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