Hope for Malta

RSPB is working with our BirdLife Partner, BirdLife Malta, to insist EU bird protection laws are implemented and enforced in Malta so the island's reputation for shooting and trapping a multitude of birds each year will be a thing of the past.

Turtle dove Streptopelia turtur, adult perched in tree top, Fowlmere RSPB reserve,


The large-scale shooting and trapping of birds during migration in Malta is well-known to conservationists across Europe and to anyone who has visited the country. During the spring and autumn, thousands of migrating and resident birds are shot indiscriminately. Further, thousands of small songbirds are trapped to be caged.

In April 2008 the European Court of Justice ordered the Maltese government not to allow spring hunting and in January 2009 trapping should be illegal too, when a derogation allowed when Malta joined the EU in 2004 expires.  Even with these activities illegal, enforcement is poor and political will to act against illegal activities is weak. Halting this illegal shooting and trapping is a top priority for us.


  • To work with and strengthen the work of our BirdLife Partner in Malta - BirdLife Malta.
  • To have Malta apply and enforce the requirements of the Birds Directive.
  • To stop spring hunting of birds on Malta.
  • To stop finch trapping on Malta.

Planned Work

We are continuing to press the Maltese authorities to enforce the legalities of the Birds Directive and lobbying the EU to continue their action against Malta as appropriate.

Planned work includes:.
  • Lobbying and campaigning at the local and international level with the support of the BirdLife Partners.
  • Gathering more factual data to support the already well-established scientific case against spring hunting.
  • Raising awareness and support of the public and people who care about their environment.
  • Developing and enhancing the education programme in schools.
  • Assisting BirdLife Malta to build its conservation and education work.



Tagged with: Country: International Country: Malta Project status: Ongoing Project types: Advocacy