Malta’s hunting lobby, the Federation for Hunting and Conservation (FKNK), has filed a judicial protest against Birdlife Malta over the eNGO’s call to end a dubious derogation to allow finch strapping for scientific research.
FKNK claims that Birldlife’s request to repeal the derogation is the “umpteenth attack targetting trappers and hunters through manipulative and destructive outbreaks”.
The decision comes just a day after the European Commission decided it would take Malta to court over the issue, arguing that claims of scientific research mask the numerous amount of illegalities that place during the trapping season.
“The Commission considers that even though the declared objective is ‘research’, several elements indicate that the scheme – in practice – allows for a large number of birds to be captured without being reported, contrary to the strict conditions for derogations set by the Birds Directive,” the EC said in a statement.
FKNK denied claims that thousands of birds are being caught during the season, claiming that the statement ” a manipulation of the truth and further dissemination of misleading and incorrect information” in its protest against Birdlife.
“Through the present protest the FKNK is formally requesting BLM to stop these manoeuvres based on unfounded premises and half-truths and to refrain from pursuing its agenda against trappers and hunters and this because the framework allowing derogation for scientific research on the seven species of finches is a regular one and in line with the European “Birds” Directive, even if against the wishes of BirdLife Malta itself,” it said.
The trapping of finches was meant to have been outlawed in Malta following an EU court decision which found Malta’s derogation from EU law not to have been justified.
However in October 2021, the Maltese government informed Brussels that it intended to continue to allow trappers to capture protected songbirds because, it argued, this was part of a research project collecting scientific data on the birds’ migration.
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