Traditional bird hunts: the new licenses suspended

Ho New via Reuters

The new authorizations for traditional bird hunts suspended. (illustration photo)

HUNTING – The summary judge of the Council of State, urgently seized by the defenders of nature, suspended this Monday, October 25 the new government decrees authorizing traditional bird hunts.

After a first cancellation in August by the highest administrative court of the country of several hunting authorizations (thrushes, blackbirds, lapwing, golden plovers, skylarks with nets or cages), the judge considered that the government had taken mi -October these new orders on the same basis, risking to contravene European law, and that there was thus “a serious doubt as to their legality”.

After this urgent decision “the Council of State will rule on the merits of the appeals against these decrees in the coming months”, underlines the institution in a press release.

The European “birds” directive of 2009 prohibits mass capture techniques for birds without distinction of species. A derogation is possible ”on condition of being duly motivated and when ‘there is no other satisfactory solution’ to capture certain birds”.

The French governments therefore issued decrees each year authorizing these traditional hunts in certain determined regions, with quotas of huntable individuals.

The Court of Justice of the European Union, seized of similar orders concerning the very controversial and emblematic glue hunt, had ruled the latter not in conformity with European law in March 2021, followed in June by the Council of State which had confirmed its illegality.

“Anger, bitterness, disgust”

The Ministry of Ecological Transition (MTE) had however taken back eight orders for 2021-2022 for other hunts, retoked at the beginning of August by the Council of State then reappeared on October 15, arguing that the texts provide “the necessary motivations on the absence of an alternative solution, the selectivity, the judicious use and the small quantities ”of birds killed.

The decrees were immediately attacked by the One Voice associations and the League for the protection of birds (LPO), demanding their immediate suspension.

“Tradition cannot justify failure to meet the requirements of the Birds Directive,” rejoiced the LPO, hailing a “great and great victory”. “With such constant jurisprudence, which moreover relates to the same practices, we should have stopped there. This was without taking into account the weakness of the government in the face of the hunting lobby ”, regretted the association.

“When the Council of State declared these traditional hunting techniques illegal, last August 6, we would never have imagined that the government would dare to authorize them again”, for its part reacted One Voice, denouncing “the servility to the ‘with regard to the hunting lobby which, let us remember, defends a hobby and not a necessity ”.

The MTE for its part indicated that “the government takes note” of the decision, recalling that “it is now up to the Council of State to rule on the merits”.

“I have a lot of anger, bitterness, disgust,” Willy Schraen, president of the National Federation of Hunters (FNC), told AFP. “I do not understand this politico-legal determination to piss off a handful of French people on something insignificant”, he added, assuring that these hunts “have no stake in terms of biodiversity”, in particular in terms of the number of individuals that can be hunted with these techniques.

See also on The HuffPost: Over 1,400 dolphins killed in traditional Faroe Islands hunt


Source: Le Huffington Post by www.huffingtonpost.fr.

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