BirdLife Malta said it is the government that has been discriminatory – by hand-picking staff for the new Wild Birds Regulation Unit (WBRU).
It was replying to a government answer to a news release it issued, saying that it considers that Joe Lia had too great a conflict of interest to be employed within the WBRU.
“This conflict of interest meant that BirdLife Malta could not remain at the Ornis Committee when proposals for the trapping of song thrush and golden plover were being discussed because Mr Lia was present as the government’s technical expert. BirdLife Malta considers that it was taking an ethical stance when it made its decision to withdraw from Ornis for this agenda item,” BirdLife said
It added that Mr Lia’s listing as the FKNK council member for live-bird trapping on the FKNK website was removed only after the publication of an article that drew attention to the conflict of interest between his role as an FKNK council member and his position as a technical officer at the WBRU.
There has yet to be an official statement by the FKNK and/or Mr Lia confirming his resignation or removal from the FKNK council, BirdLife added.