The Malta Independent 16 May 2022, Monday

Prime Minister urged to change tack on proposed bird ringing law

Wednesday, 11 May 2022, 09:09 Last update: about 5 days ago

BirdLife Malta is urging the Prime Minister to intervene and revisit a proposed change to the law that could jeopardize scientific bird studies.

In a statement Wednesday, BirdLife Malta said it sincerely believes that PM Robert Abela is being misled and misinformed about the latest proposals on bird ringing.

The change, which is being placed on the agenda of an ORNIS Committee meeting to be held later on today, by the Federation for Hunting and Conservation (FKNK), suggests that there should be other bird ringing schemes in Malta that are not affiliated to the European reputable EURING ringing scheme. EURING is a European-wide network that recognizes highly scientific bird ringing schemes to make sure that scientific bird studies, especially those related to bird migration, are well networked and of a high level. In Malta the law stipulates that licensed ringing schemes can only be those affiliated to EURING.

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The BirdLife Malta Ringing Scheme is affiliated with EURING and has been set up in the mid-1960s. The Prime Minister should appreciate that by creating other schemes, science will not benefit but this will create possible abuse to birds themselves, especially by third parties who have every intention to promote fake science.

Following previous changes to the law, hunters and trappers can become also licensed bird ringers after they go through the necessary training.

In view of this BirdLife Malta is urging Prime Minister Abela to suspend such amendments to the law until there is a thorough discussion with all stakeholders involved to avoid putting Malta into yet another embarrassing situation with the European Commission in regard to transparency.

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