Parliamentary Secretary for Animal Rights Roderick Galdes yesterday emphasised that obtaining a derogation for trapping would be extremely difficult to negotiate. He made this clarification after an interview with Times of Malta published on Wednesday.
In the video-recorded interview – held in Maltese at Mr Galdes’s request – he had said: “sibna xaqq tekniku” (which Times of Malta translated as “a technical loophole has been found”) and that this would allow the Government to present proposals to the European Union to allow bird trapping in autumn.
He had also stressed that the previous Government had not managed to achieve this: “It is difficult – we know that the previous Government did not manage this, but we’ll try and when our proposals are ready we’ll share them with the public”.
However, yesterday Mr Galdes clarified that what he meant when he used the word “xaqq” (literally translated as “crack”) was that technically there was a possibility to apply for a derogation for bird trapping, once particular safeguards are in place: approval from Brussels and strict and rigid enforcement.
He also emphasised that from the onset he had said that such a derogation was extremely difficult to negotiate.
“The issue of bird trapping was raised for the first time during a televised live programme TVAM on PBS... Replying to a direct question by the presenter, whether the Secretariat intends to apply for derogation for trapping (similarly to previous requests to EU Commission by preceding administration) the intention was confirmed.” On whether finches will be part of the new autumn trapping proposals Mr Galdes yesterday said: “At no point in time during the past two days was the trapping for finches mentioned, discussed or confirmed.”
He also referred to a subsequent headline of the story Trapping For Finches Is Not Excluded on timesofmalta.com and described it as “mere speculation by the Times of Malta journalist”.
However, a transcript of what Mr Galdes said in the recorded interview shows otherwise. He had been asked if the new proposals for autumn trapping would include finches and he had answered clearly: “That could be possible – but one has to see.”
In his clarification letter, Mr Galdes insisted: “Whatever we negotiate on trapping will be following all EU laws and regulations”.