Malta told to clamp down on bird trapping
The Maltese government has been told that its failure to properly implement the EU’s birds directive is putting wild birds in danger.
Malta has allowed the trapping of four species of bird protected by EU law: the turtle dove, quail, golden plover and song thrush. Although large-scale trapping of these birds is illegal under the birds directive, Malta is using an exception that can be granted if there is “no viable alternative”.
Last year, the European Commission told Malta that it was granting derogations without sufficient justification. It said the documentation that the government has submitted failed to demonstrate that only small numbers of birds are being captured, that the trapping conditions are being properly supervised and that the derogation is limited to just one species.
Malta responded by saying that the derogations do meet the conditions set out in the directive.
The Commission could refer the case to the European Court of Justice if Malta fails to reply within two months.
The decision was part of a package of 186 decisions to take action against member states for failing to comply with EU legislation.
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