The Labour Party’s TV station ONE will be hosting a new programme from Malta’s hunting lobby FKNK, starting next January.
FKNK said that 13 weekly episodes of “Mid-Dura” will be airing each Wednesday, with repeats on Saturday and Sunday.
In typical fashion, it said that the programme will be “dedicated to showcasing the rich traditional socio-cultural practices of sustainable hunting and live-capturing (trapping) on the Maltese islands.”
The programme will not be FKNK’s first foray into television, with the organisation having presented the similarly-named Id-Dura on Smash TV for a number of years.
The hunting lobby’s move to a political station, however, could be seen to signal the favour it enjoys of the Labour Party, or vice versa.
The Labour Party in government had explicitly endorsed hunters in the 2015 referendum on spring hunting, a support which may well have tipped the scales as the referendum was only narrowly defeated.
More recently, the government’s actions in favour of hunters have seen it fall foul of the European Commission, which has initiated a number of infringement proceedings against Malta.
The referendum did not stop a years-long moratorium on the spring hunting of turtle dove, though the timing of spring hunting seasons for quail was deemed by BirdLife to suspiciously coincide with the peak migration of turtle dove: traditionally Maltese hunters’ favourite quarry.
The announcement that the moratorium would end – a decision which led to fresh infringement proceedings – came just before the 2022 general election, timing which suggests an obvious intent.
The government has also sought to exploit a loophole to permit the trapping of songbirds, allowing this to continue ostensibly for “research” purposes.
No peer reviewed research has ensued through local trappers’ unscientific sampling efforts, however, and this too has led to infringement proceedings.