Illegal trapping has to stop – European Court of Justice


Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

Bird trappers today received a blow as finch trapping, re-introduced by government in 2014 was declared illegal by the European Court of Justice on Thursday. The ECJ said that Malta has failed to fulfil its European obligations under the European Wild Birds Directive by allowing the capture of several species of wild finches. This has ended a legal battle started in 2015 after trapping was re-introduced in spite of the objections of the European Union on the matter.

This landmark judgement was expected and earlier, the Federation of Hunters, Trappers and Conservationists (FKNK) appealed for calm. Birlife, on the other hand, in aninitial reaction welcomed the ruling saying that this meant an end to finch trapping.

The ECJ, in some scathing remarks, noted in its decision that there was insufficient evidence of enforcement produced by the Maltese Government. The ECJ said that the subjection of only one hunter in five to checks was inaqaduate.It also noted that since 2014, the failure to abide by restrictions in Natura 200 protected areas had been quite frequent during the autumn trapping season.

ECJ Judgement