UPDATED WITH BIRDLIFE REACTION
Thousands of bird trappers will be permitted to continue their controversial practice, as the government this morning announced the start of another trapping season.
The government has effectively ignored the repeated warning by the European Commission that bird trapping is illegal.
Through a legal notice in the Government Gazette, the government said that the trapping season for seven species of song birds, song thrush and golden plover, will open on Tuesday and last until the end of the year.
Trappers can catch 33,200 birds with limits established for every species. Those participating in this season need to have a special licence costing €55.
Bird trapping is illegal in the EU but member states may derogate from legislation. However, the Commission has already underlines that in Malta’s case the derogation is not justified.
The Commission has already referred Malta's case to the European Court of Justice.
Wild birds are going to be caught and taken from nature for no justifiable reason other than a recreational need
In a statement, Birdlife Malta called on Environment Commissioner Karmenu Vella to take immediate action to safeguard migrating wild birds.
“Our main concern is that many wild birds are going to be caught and taken from nature for no justifiable reason other than a recreational need. This is a considerable impact on wildlife and that is the reason why bird trapping is illegal under such directives,” said BLM Conservation Manager Nicholas Barbara.
Last year over 8,000 trapping sites were activated allowing the catch of over 33,000 birds through two derogations. Conditions published in legal notices yesterday indicate similar conditions are being applied.
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