As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Wednesday 4 July 2018

Malta's 'barbaric' finch traps ruled illegal by EU court

 Campaigners hail court verdict, which bans trapping of several species of the bird
Thu 21 Jun 2018 12.52 BSTLast modified on Fri 22 Jun 2018 10.43 BST
Malta has broken EU law by allowing the hunting and trapping of several finch species, the European court has ruled.
The Mediterranean island will face potentially substantial fines unless it ends a derogation it introduced in 2014 allowing the songbirds to be captured.
An estimated 110,000 finches have been caught by hunters since then, along with many other wild birds such as song thrushes and golden plovers.
Catherine Bearder, the Liberal Democrat MEP, hailed the verdict as “a welcome judgment that confirms what we have all known for too long. The slaughter of these wonderful birds is illegal and unsustainable. The EU must step in and take action to stop the killing without delay.”
Finch-trapping was once common across Europe but the practice has been progressively rolled back by the EU’s birds directive, which aims to conserve avian species and prevent habitat destruction.
In Malta, the continued use of clap nets to trap birds has led to the near absence of many nesting species of migratory birds, according to BirdLife Europe.
Ariel Brunner, the group’s policy chief, said: “Today’s court judgment sends a message that the rule of law must be respected. It should mark the end of indiscriminate trapping, which is a completely unsustainable and barbaric practice.”
According to BirdLife, the court verdict effectively outlaws the trapping of finches in Malta, which had been due to resume with this autumn’s hunting season. It will directly apply to seven protected species: siskins, goldfinches, European serins, linnets, greenfinches, common chaffinches and hawfinches.

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