Traditional hunts deemed illegal by the Council of State will again be possible from Saturday

New orders and new appeals. The battle continues between the government and the League for the Protection of Birds (LPO) over traditional hunts. Friday, October 15, four ministerial orders re-authorizing the trapping of skylark, crested lapwing, golden plovers, thrushes and blackbirds using nets or cages for the 2021-2022 season were published in Official newspaper, while these capture methods were deemed illegal by the State Council.

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In the wake of this publication, the LPO was to file summary proceedings against these texts. “Obtaining a suspensive summary takes two weeks to three weeks, it is not very classy for the government to take these orders on a Friday to save hunters an extra weekend, reacted Allain Bougrain-Dubourg, the president of the LPO. But we will make say the right until the end. “ From Saturday, hunters will be able to indulge in these practices – and until the end of the season if the urgency of the remedies is not recognized.

Horizontal nets and drop cages

The decrees authorize the capture of 106,500 larks using horizontal nets (called pantes) and hanging wire mesh cages (matoles) in four departments of the South-West (Landes, Gironde, Lot-et-Garonne and Pyrénées-Atlantiques) . These catches are in addition to the tens of thousands of larks killed with rifles each year – estimates were 180,000 birds killed in 2013-14. Will also be authorized, from Saturday, the tenderie – a technique which consists in trapping birds using nets or nooses installed in the trees or on the ground – of 1,200 crested lapwings, 30 golden plovers and 5,800 thrushes and blackbirds in the Ardennes.

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On August 6, the Council of State ruled that these hunting methods did not comply with European law. The European “birds” directive, which aims to conserve European wild birds, prohibits these techniques, while issuing exemptions.

The mere fact of wanting to preserve these so-called “traditional” hunting methods is not enough to authorize them.

However, in its decision, the highest French administrative court affirms that the ministerial authorizations making it possible to derogate each year from European law are not “Not duly motivated” and do not establish “That there is no other satisfactory capture solution”. The Council of State also recalls that the mere fact of wanting to preserve these so-called “traditional” hunting methods is not enough to authorize them. The National Federation of Hunters then denounced a decision “Particularly iniquitous”, demonstrating “A relentlessness against all traditional hunts without the slightest serious basis”.

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