Illegal Trapping- Take Action

In line with the Birds Directive and the Accession Treaty agreement signed with the European Commission when Malta joined the EU, finch trapping has been illegal since 2008 and there has been no derogation to allow finch trapping.

Autumn 2012 trapping derogation

The Maltese government has applied a derogation of the Birds Directive to allow live-capture (trapping) of two species: Song Thrush and Golden Plover.

Song Thrush Golden Plover
 Song Thrush
 Golden Plover


  • Song Thrush may be trapped between 20th October and 31st December 
  • Golden Plover may be trapped between 20th October 2012 and 10th January 2013
  • Trapping is not permitted on Xaghri in Natura 2000 sites


Trapping of any other species, including finches, during this period is illegal.


 Caged live finch decoy on a trapping site.


If you see live finches (or any birds other than Song Thrush or Golden Plover) in cages on a trapping site it is likely that this site is illegally targetting protected species.

Autumn 2012 trapping season FAQs (MEPA)

Trapping practices

Impacts of trapping

If you witness illegal trapping, take action. Follow these steps:

Act Now!

Last Updated on Tuesday, 1 July 2014, 8:42:47 AM