Ornis recommendation on finch trapping will set bird conservation back 5 years – BLM

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Ornis recommendation on finch trapping will set bird conservation back 5 years - BLMBirdLife Malta has said yesterday’s approval by Ornis of a proposal to re-legalise the banned practice of finch trapping will set bird conservation in Malta back five years.

“It is incomprehensible that the government will now be considering reintroducing this outlawed and environmentally indefensible practice just to placate the trapping lobby,” said BirdLife Malta’s Conservation Manager, Nicholas Barbara.Ornis recommendation on finch trapping will set bird conservation back 5 years - BLMTrapping wild songbirds became illegal in Malta in 2009, after a five-year phasing-out period negotiated as part of Malta’s EU Accession Treaty agreement. The change brought Malta’s national wildlife protection laws into line with Europe’s Wild Birds directive, which guarantee protected status to wild finches and prohibit songbird trapping due to the activity’s ability to decimate wild bird populations.

“There is just no valid reason to take songbirds from the wild,” Mr Barbara said, “Finches readily breed in captivity, so people are still able to keep caged birds perfectly legally. It just doesn’t make any sense.”

BLM said that “on Sunday, the Times of Malta published an article revealing that FKNK and ‘independent’ Government appointed representatives on Malta’s ORNIS Committee would be voting in favour of legalising finch-trapping at yesterday’s Ornis meeting.”

“And that is exactly what happened,” said Mr Barbara, who also represents BirdLife Malta on ORNIS.

He added, “despite concerns raised by BirdLife Malta during the meeting, the proposal to re-legalise finch trapping was passed thanks to FKNK, MEPA and the three Government appointed representatives voting in favour of recommending a derogation. BirdLife Malta alone voted against the proposal.”

“This is the result of collaboration between the FKNK and Wild Birds Regulation Unit, and is just another step on the road of the government policy of appeasing the hunting and trapping lobby, even if it means challenging Malta’s EU Accession Treaty,” said Mr Barbara.

Malta has to date received two formal warnings from the European Commission after recent trapping seasons were judged to be in breach of the Birds Directive. The Commission cited habitat damage , inadequate enforcement and the impact on protected songbirds (finches) as a result of widespread illegal trapping.

“To simply ignore these warnings and seek to circumvent wildlife regulations by applying unjustified derogations shows a complete lack of concern for the protection of wildlife and habitats in Malta,” concluded Mr Barbara.

Photos: An ‘illegal finch trapping site in Gozo’ photographed by BirdLife Malta last year. And, 2 caged Linnets, “a protected species, being used as decoys for illegal trapping”: BirdLife Malta

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    6 Responses

    1. James A. Tyrrell says:

      Malta has become a death camp for birds and both the present and past Maltese Governments have supported this. Why can’t the two main parties for once in their existence sit down together and come to an agreement to work for the majority of Maltese people rather than a very small minority. Will they in so doing lose the hunter’s vote? Yes, but who cares? If they both come to an agreement not to go after the vote of these insignificant 10,000 then neither party will be harmed and Malta will become a better place for all.

      • Karl & Freida Germany says:

        It is very sad indeed to see these lovely creatures caged up, shame on the people of these islands and the authorities that allow it to happen.

      • con caruana says:

        who are you to tell anyone what to decide? liers like you discourage and make people from close bye countries believe that there might be some truth,to what hipocretes like you are saying,and if you dont tell yourself that you,are a big lier, you,re not normal, you know how expensive finches are, so if malta as you said,is a death camp for birds, people would be having them for dinner,

      • James A. Tyrrell says:

        @con caruana. I have no idea what you are trying to say as the only part I understood was ‘who are you to tell anyone what to decide.’ In answer to that I’m someone who cares more for nature than I do for the scum who destroy it.

    2. con caruana says:

      well try and understand this,why don,t you let the locals mind there own bussness,and tell the scums back in yr country to stop polluting nature,at the cost of everybody else, if you,re so interested,and bored,,cause all they,re doing is practicing a hobby which they inherited from their ancesters, there,s not even a friggin tree or lake here,

      • James A. Tyrrell says:

        In my country we don’t trap wild birds in little cages and what exactly have trees and lakes got to do with anything? Because something was done by your ancestors doesn’t mean it’s right to do it now. If that was the case you would still be living in caves like your ancestors did and in the case of some that would probably be appropriate.

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