The FKNK is seeking “legal redress” on trapping regulations
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The Federation for Hunting and Conservation – Malta, in a statement today, said that “in the best interest of its trapper members,” it cannot but “condemn the fact that a number of legal amendments were introduced, constraining the FKNK to seek legal redress to address these injustices.”
The FKNK said that it welcomes the application for Derogation for an Autumn 2018 Live-capturing season for Song Thrush and Golden Plover, and acknowledged the “effort Government officials put in to secure this derogation.”
However, it added, four issues are of a “major concern for the FKNK and its members” and the Federation will be taking legal measures to address these concerns.
It said that nets have to be with a mesh size that is not less than 45mm x 45mm and during the discussions preceding the amendments, the FKNK had proposed the adequate minimum net mesh size of 32 mm square which is the same as in Italy, where the live-capture of the song thrush is similarly permitted.
The FKNK argued that the mesh size of 45 mm square “is inadequate since a song thrush can easily slip-through.”
“In fact at present, the FKNK is receiving several complaints from most of its trapper members who have paid the respective license, who have constantly failed to realise capture, to the extent that some of them have even packed-up.”
It also argued against the “cooperation with NGO’s,” saying that it “believes that the introduction of this Regulation is unjust, dangerous and contrary to the principles of natural justice.”
Adding that, “Investigations can potentially be biased if they involve the active participation of NGO’s who have declared on numerous occasions that their aim is to “# STOP TRAPPING NOW” – also clearly showing a conflict of interest.”
This amendment, it said, “has been a long-time desire of both local organisation, BirdLife Malta, and German based organisation CABS, for them to be able to acquire such power.”
“This Regulation is an insult toward the efficiency and hard work of the Police Force,” stated CABS.
The FKNK continued by saying that it has “no problems to cooperate with the Police when and if asked by the same Executive Police but is in principle against the active participation of NGOs in police investigations including on-site inspections on private property since investigations should be left to the executive police and not in the hands of entities self-declared against trapping.”
The FKNK also said that it “cannot begin to understand how the regulation on publication of approved privately owned trapping stations got to see the light of day, making trapping stations information now public to everyone.”
“This subject was already the subject of a request made in 2016 by Birdlife Malta to the Data Protection Commissioner, which was rejected
The Federation said that while it condemns illegal use of bird callers, it did not agree with the introduction of the Regulation by which a trapping station may be deregistered if they use them. “It lacks basic principles of law, is open to third parties abuse and is dangerous in practice.”
“Therefore, for all the above considerations, the Federation will be doing it utmost to address these new legal amendments to rectify these injustices,” it said.
“Because the FKNK has been informed that these particular Regulations have been ‘imposed’ by the European Commission, the FKNK will be writing to the Commission in protest,” it said.
File photo of Song Thrush