Dear, Sabah Al Ahmad Al Jaber Al Sabah, Emir of Kuwait. I’m writing this open letter to you as a result of our recent visits to your country. We are foreign bird watchers, ornothologists and naturalists, and we have just spent a couple of weeks in Kuwait in January, and now a week in April bird watching.
We are chocked by the amount of immoral hunting we have seen. We think that hunting and nature conservation can co-exist, but clearly not the way your people are currently behaving. The way hunting is practiced here in Kuwait, or rather should I say killing is immoral for the following reasons.
- It’s not your birds, the migratory birds are just passing through here, they are not yours to kill.
- Hunting should always have an element of sportsmanship, driving a 4WD through the nature reserves where exhausted migrating birds rest on their way north and shoot from the car window is barbaric.
- Some birds are rare, whereas other are not. Many people, all over the world appreciate hunting. Indiscriminate killing of rare birds is unacceptable, the hunter MUST know what he or she shoots. Case in point, a group of 16 Caspian Plovers were resting in north Kuwait recently, this is an endangered species where elsewhere in the world, people spend time and money to ensure the survival of the species, here in Kuwait, this winter, they were all shot, for fun.
- And finally, the worst of them all, killing for fun is clearly immoral. Shooting arbitrary birds for target practice is almost evil. This we saw several times. An especially memorable moment was one of the days when we came down to the beach at Jahra. A father and a son were there, the father playing bird calls from the car, and the son, maybe of age 15, was shooting swallows over the sea. When we started to watch the birds through our binoculars, while they were killing them, they both must have felt ashamed as they left the beach looking down into the ground.
Thus, Dear Emir, we urge you to follow the recent example of Lebanon, which has just passed new laws fitting for the 21’st century regulating hunting.
Thanks for your attention,
Claes Wikström, Mårten Wiström, Erik Rask.