David Lindsay Sunday, 9 October 2016, 09:30 Last update: about 16 days ago
27,500 finches legally put up for grabs
The government announced on Friday the opening of the bird trapping season, despite the fact that Malta is facing legal action by the European Commission over allowing the trapping of seven species of finch.
The bird trapping season will open on 20 October and will close on 31 December, according to a Legal Notice published on Friday.
The government has allowed for the trapping of a total of 33,200 birds – 27,500 of which are finches. Each trapping licence holder will be allowed to trap 10 finches during the season, and six song thrushes or golden plovers – meaning that each trapper will be allowed a total of 16 birds over the nine-week season.
In September 2015 the European Commission referred Malta to the European Court of Justice for its decision to allow finch trapping as of 2014. Malta was allowed a transitional arrangement in the EU Accession Treaty to phase out finch trapping, taking into account the time required to establish a captive breeding programme. This transitional arrangement expired in 2008.