Finch trapping, a controversial hunting practice declared illegal by the EU courts, will not be allowed this autumn. However, the trapping of plover (pluviera) and song thrush (malvizz) will still be permitted.
The decision to allow the trapping of the two other species has been criticised. It has been argued that allowing the trapping of the two species makes it easier to catch other protected birds illegally.
On the other hand, Malta’s hunting lobby has decried the banning of finch trapping.
This year’s trapping season is open from 20th October to 31st December for the song thrush, and from 1st November to 10th January 2020 for the plover.
Malta has been given a derogation for this year’s season, with the practice being illegal within the EU. This came after an agreement with the European Commission after the European courts ruled against Malta’s previous derogation for finches.
A national quota of 5,000 song thrush and 700 golden plovers has been established while trapping sites will be registered and publicly available.
Trappers also obliged to immediately report their catches as outlined in their specialised license.