Commission requests MALTA to end finch trapping

The European Commission has requested Malta to bring its hunting legislation into line with EU rules on the conservation of wild birds. The case concerns Malta's decision to apply a derogation to the EU Birds Directive (2009/147/EC), allowing the live capture (i.e. trapping) of seven species of wild finches as from 2014. Member States may derogate from the requirement of strict protection only in the absence of other satisfactory solutions, and provided that the population of the species concerned is maintained at a satisfactory level. As these conditions are not met in this case, the Commission sent a letter of formal notice in October 2014, urging Malta to refrain from finch trapping. Malta went ahead with the derogation as planned and does not agree with the Commission's position, so the Commission is now sending a reasoned opinion. If Malta fails to act within two months, the case may be referred to the EU Court of Justice.

(For more information: Enrico Brivio – Tel.: +32 229 56172)

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Commission requests Austria to act on bird protection

The European Commission has requested Austria to bring its hunting legislation into line with EU legislation on the protection of wild birds. The Birds Directive (2009/147/EC) prohibits any hunting of migratory birds listed in Annex II during their period of reproduction or during their return to their rearing grounds. Member States may derogate from this requirement only in the absence of other satisfactory solutions and provided that the population of the species concerned is maintained at a satisfactory level. The Austrian provinces of Burgenland, Lower Austria and Salzburg are allowing a hunt for Woodcock (Scolopax rusticola) from 1 March until 15 April, and specifically for male Woodcock during their reproductive courtship flights. The Commission first raised its concerns in a letter of formal notice in March 2014. As the conditions for derogation have not been met and spring hunting of this species is in violation of the Birds Directive, the Commission is now sending a reasoned opinion. If Austria fails to act within two months, the case may be referred to the EU Court of Justice.

(For more information: Enrico Brivio – Tel.: +32 229 56172)

 
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