The government is considering re-authorizing some traditional bird hunts

The government put several decrees for consultation on Thursday, September 16, with the aim of once again allowing certain traditional bird hunts, despite a decision by the Council of State deeming several of these techniques illegal.

The highest French administrative court had canceled, at the beginning of August, several hunting licenses for crested lapwings, golden plovers, skylarks, thrushes and blackbirds with nets (pantes, matoles) or cages (matoles). , judging “That these authorizations issued by the Minister in charge of the environment no[’étaient] do not comply with the requirements of European law relating to the protection of birds “. European directive ” birds “ of 2009 indeed prohibits the techniques of massive capture of birds without distinction of species. A derogation is however possible “On condition of being duly motivated and therefore that there is no other satisfactory solution to capture certain birds “, then recalled the Council of State.

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Following this decision, the Ministry of Ecological Transition put eight decrees for the 2021-2022 hunting season up to October 6 for consultation. The latter concern the capture of lapwing and golden plovers in the tenderie in the Ardennes, the capture of skylarks with pantes in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques, the Lot-et-Garonne, the Landes and the Gironde, the capture of skylarks with matole in the Landes and Lot-et-Garonne and the tenderie capture of thrushes and blackbirds in the Ardennes.

Species of “Least Concern” or “Near Threatened”

It is “To come out on top of the debate on traditional hunts by allowing the judge to make a final decision on their compliance with the European legal framework on the preservation of birds”, argued the ministry. Previous decrees “Did not allow the Council of State to consider that the ministry had provided the necessary reasons for the absence of an alternative solution, selectivity, judicious use and small quantities” birds killed by these hunts, according to the same source. All these elements have been specified in the new texts.

The total number of birds that can be hunted is around 115,000. The Skylark and the Common Lapwing are classified as “Least Concern” and “Near Threatened,” respectively, according to the United States. International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species (IUCN) in France. “The new orders in preparation remain illegal, and the LPO [la Ligue de protection des oiseaux] will ask for their immediate suspension before the Council of State if ever they are signed ”, immediately reacted the LPO.

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Bird populations in towns and fields have collapsed in France due to human activities, scientists warn. For the LPO, it is “Satisfy the hunting lobbies in the run-up to the presidential election”. “To hunt outside the legal framework is to poach”, declared its president, Allain Bougrain-Dubourg in a press release.

Hunters called to demonstrate

Hunters are called to take to the streets again on Saturday, having already demonstrated in August and early September. For Willy Schraen, president of the National Federation of Hunters (FNC), Barbara Pompili made “Of his personal ideology the end of the hunt. She hates what we are ”, he said in an interview with The Voice of Haute-Marne.

The government banned, at the end of August, the hunting of the turtledove, which had been protected by the Council of State in 2020. In June, the justice had also declared illegal hunting with glue. Posing as a defender of rurality, Mr Schraen criticized “A radicalization of an ultra-minority part of society” against hunting.

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The former minister of ecological transition Nicolas Hulot had slammed the government door at the end of August 2018, regretting in particular the weight of lobbies, including that of hunters. President Emmanuel Macron, on the other hand, has taken a stand on several occasions for the hunt.

The World with AFP

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