St Hubert Hunters' Association (Kaccaturi San Ubertu -KSU) said today that it applauded a court's decision yesterday to fine a hooded hunter arrested on a nature reserve.

Christian Gauci, 27, of Mellieha, was fined €4,658, banned from hunting for three years and also had his gun confiscated.

"We wish to state that this poacher is not, and has never been, a KSU member. Furthermore, we highly applaud the court’s judgement," the association said.

"We augur that in the case of serious hunting-related offences, in particular the violation of bird sanctuaries and the shooting of rare protected birds, the Maltese courts will not hesitate to deliver necessarily harsh sentences. Where hardcore, inveterate law-breakers are concerned, the KSU is all in favour of the revocation for life of the hunting licences of such relapsers. We strongly condemn these few dozen totally egoistic law-breakers who persist in ignoring our pleas for sustainable hunting within the law, and do their best to besmirch the law-abiding majority of hunters.

"Since filming by a BBC crew was instrumental in bringing this poacher to justice, we now expect the BBC to publicize the fact that justice proceedings were swift, ending with a justly harsh sentence. We trust that the BBC will not use this incident and some others to tarnish Malta’s image. We are certain that this was an isolated case out of the few; and it proves that the great majority of hunters are complying with the law and abiding by the conditions of Malta’s spring-hunting derogation," the association said.

 

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