POLL: Should the trapping of songbirds in Malta be stopped?

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The ministry for the environment has issued two legal notices announcing the start of the autumn finch-trapping season, despite having been referred to the EU Court of Justice by the European Commission for breaching the Birds Directive.

The season will run from 20 October to 31 December, allowing for the trapping of linnet, goldfinch, greenfinch, siskin, hawfinch, chaffinch and serin.

The trapping licence will be issued on a €55 fee, and the overall bag limit will be 12,000 for linnet, 800 for goldfinch, 4,500 for greenfinch, 2,350 for siskin, 500 for hawfinch, 5,000 for chaffinch, and 2,350 for serin.

The licence sets the season’s bag limit to 10 finches for each licence.

The same dates will apply for the trapping of song thrush and golden plover with a seasonal bag limit of 5,000 for song thrush and 700 for golden plover. The licence will set the bag limit for six of these birds.

89 MEPs have officially asked European Environment Commissioner Karmenu Vella to take urgent action against the Maltese government for breaking EU laws to allow trapping and spring hunting of Europe’s migrating birds.

Last month, the European Commission announced they are taking the Maltese government to court for allowing finch trapping.

In the letter, MEPs urged Vella to apply urgent interim measures so that finch trapping is banned for the duration of this case at the European Court of Justice (ECJ).

MEP Stefan Eck said” “the Maltese government cannot continue to flout EU laws in this way. Commissioner Vella is under a duty to ensure that the rules of the EU are complied with.”

The letter also called for the open case on song thrush and golden plover trapping to be heard at the ECJ together with finch trapping, thus dealing with both of Malta’s derogations on trapping together.

The MEPs drew Commissioner Vella’s attention to the recent inclusion of turtle doves on the IUCN Red List of threatened birds, saying that the species could become extinct within our lifetime, and asking for new infringement proceedings to be taken against the Maltese government should they continue to allow this endangered bird to be shot in spring.

This article was first published by Malta Today on 16 Oct 2015.

We invite you to share your opinion whether the trapping of songbirds in Malta should be stopped? Please vote and leave your comments at the bottom of this page:

Should the trapping of songbirds in Malta be stopped?

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Peter TheMouse

Cruel, barbaric and disgusting!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Delbert Smith

Marilyn-Brian Ashman Mayeb the only four sane people in the world.

John Wayne Attard

Birds are born with wings so let them spread their wings 🙂

Johanna Duffek-Kowal

UNFORTUNATELY the EU is way too busy to deal with member states' budget issues, to force nations to sell out public property, to enforce anti-smoker legislation, and to completely fail in dealing with refugees, to find time and ressources to care for MARGINAL problems like animal and environment protection… Merely theoretically strict endangered species protection laws are rather useless if not enforced – or supplied with enough loopholes to pass for Swiss cheese. MOREOVER, our dear EU prefers to stick their collective nose into the affairs of generally well behaved net contributors, fining them for this and that and what… Read more »

Iris Mansi

It should not be allowed to happen and I will not visit this country or but anything that profits this country until these beautiful birds are safe, I will also urge my family and friends to also boycott Malta

Bobby Balfour

It's a completely mindless occupation. It's been done for years so we'll carry on. Such tiny little birds who've travelled miles and are worth way more than the moronic humans who like to annihilate them. I hope the EU gets stuck into this and stops it.

Jacqueline Greene

I don't understand why this was ever done to begin with? Can we really have too many songbirds? Listening to them greet me in the morning makes my heart soar. What is wrong with these people? They will eventually deprive the entire world of these delightful birds. This is criminal.

Susan Frudd

It should have been banned before songbirds should not die because the EU sits on the fence. There must be more education on the subject it really is a disgraceful, cruel and barbaric practice………..

Marilyn-Brian Ashman

Good Question! I have always wondered who those Idiots are as well !

Janice Mclean

i think this is disgusting and shouldnt be allowed and would like to know what they will do when there are no birds left for them to trap proberbly move on to some other poor bird or animal . these beautiful creatures are in decline and desprately need help to survive all the work thats done to help them is hindered by things like this

Maria Manuela Lopes

Disgusting and shame

Leigh Lofgren

of course it should be banned and why is it being done in the first place? This is crazy and so inhumane and until this practice is stopped, all trade and everything else to Malta should be stopped.

Simon Tucker

There are always 4 votes in favour of continuing the cruelty on all of these polls. Who are these four psychos? Are they always the same ones or are there more idiots like them out there? Of course it should be banned: it is against EU law. If I have an argument with the EU it is that it is spineless when dealing with breaches of the wildlife directives. Remember: 49% of Maltese people voted against the Spring hunt – this represents a massive change in their thinking: they need support but the EU also needs to make hunting economically… Read more »

Linda French

disgusting! Stop travel to Malta until this stops. These birds belong to all of us not just them, they have no right to do this. These birds use this area for migrating to other parts of the world – we in other areas will suffer as these beautiful birds declined.

Tara Wikramanayake

This is cruel and barbaric.

Karen Lyons Kalmenson

of course…this is another example of human cruel and beyond stupid!!!!

Karen Lyons Kalmenson

of course…this is another example of human cruel and beyond stupid!!!!

Cungur Suleyman Kenan


Slavica Mazak Beslic

it is barbaric act !!!

Claudine Damidaux

stopppppppppppppppp,arretez c est pas croyable de voir la betise humaine!on a besoin des oiseaux qui font la nature deja precaire a certains endroit ,alors moi francaise je dit haut et fortSTOP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Judith Cavey

YES….and everywhere else where this revolting practice takes place! Voted

Yvonne Olausson

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