Finch trapping season was ‘catch and trade business’ - BirdLife

The NGO lamented the ‘slow and at times absent’ enforcement during the season which has just ended

A Meadow Pipit caught and released by bird ringers in an unattended net at Ta Cenc
A Meadow Pipit caught and released by bird ringers in an unattended net at Ta Cenc

The finch-trapping season that came to a close at the end of the year was an unsupervised one, which could only be described as a "catch and trade business", BirdLife Malta has said.

In a statement the NGO said that evidence it had collected indicated that enforcement during the last trapping season was “slow and at times absent”.

“[The lack of enforcement gave] trappers a field day over the last two and half months, with police inefficiency and their lack of response being the order of the day,” it said.

BirdLife Malta added that despite filing several reports with the police, no response had been received in any of the cases. Moreover, it said that it had received no communication from the police regarding the outcome of any investigation

“BirdLife Malta is asking for the results on ‘enforcement’ of the trapping season to be presented at the next Ornis Committee meeting scheduled for the 24th of January,” read the statement.

“The Wild Birds Regulation Unit files a report on the season with the European Commission every year, despite the fact that the very practice is currently being contested at the European Court of Justice, with the verdict of the case initiated by the Commission against Malta now imminent.”

The NGO said that earlier this week it had launched a public campaign aimed at raising more awareness about the negative impacts of trapping on birds and other wildlife, their habitats and the Maltese environment in general.  

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