Thursday 27 December 2018 | 33

Cruel traps for birds, move along there is nothing to see!

We did not win the fight against the eleven decrees allowing the use of these traditional methods of hunting birds, they were not even suspended urgently enough by the State Council.

Hr blog

The hearing on Monday December 17th2018 took place at the State Council concerning the eleven ministerial decrees authorizing the trapping of birds in many departments of France, which are according to cruel and traditional methods.

Without prejudging the decision, on leaving the hearing we felt that the court seemed sensitive to our arguments, which was not always the case at the State Council. For example, the chair interrupted our lawyer in the middle of the presentation to tell him that he did not need to reaffirm his statements from sources when he said that birds were intelligent and sensitive. They were already convinced of that. We were hoping that this mindset would guide the decisions that were made. But it didn’t work.

We have lost this battle

Certainly, we have not won the cases for all ministerial orders. We sought to convince people that not only was it necessary to see the urgency of each individual animal and not for a disembodied "quota", but also that there were inconsistencies between what the *Birds Directive is and that which is required, the reality of these decrees… The ministry took refuge behind technical considerations and the State Council was satisfied.

For some of the appeals, the State Conseil considered that the condition of urgency was not fulfilled because the number of individuals to be killed would "only result in a very modest levy on the population of the birds concerned, which '[was] not likely to bring sufficient serious injury to the full protection of these species'. This attack was not considered as "serious enough" by the State Council to suspend these orders. However, they will lead to the death of thousands of birds: crested lapwings and golden plovers in the Ardennes, and skylarks by means of nets or falling traps in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques.

For the other side of the appeals, the actual number of birds to be killed had already reached its quota at the date of the hearing, there still was no place for appeal. In other words, for the larks of the fields of the Gironde, in the Landes as well as in the Lot-et-Garonne, hunted by means of nets and spring traps. For thrushes and blackbirds serving as decoys caught with glue in the Alpes de Haute Provence and the Alpes Maritimes, as well as in the Bouches du Rhône, Vaucluse and Var. Also, for the thrushes and Blackbirds captured by means of nets in the Ardennes: all were killed up to the number at which had been signed for by the Minister in September. The hunters did not waste their time!

This fight for a change in our society is long-term. Consider this as a battle, certainly lost, but that should not discourage us. We will continue to lead from the front in the defence and protection of animals in cases of cruelty wherever it is needed: through social networks, on the streets, in Parliament, in the Ministry and in court.

Protected birds targeted in cruel traps, against popular opinion

Many of the birds covered by these orders are on the IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature) red List. They are therefore in danger at a European level. Yet our country still gets the European Commission to be able to divert from the rule for cultural reasons ... The countryside birds have suffered a massive decrease in their population for 15 years, it is not for nothing that they are protected.

Not to mention that the ONCFS (National Office of Hunting and Wildlife) controls are based on declarative data from hunters and trappers. We can only deplore the positioning of this institution, both judge and party to it. We had already denounced this, and ask for a reform of the hunt whose supervision must be improved.

Lapwings, golden plovers, larks, thrushes, or blackbirds, all of the same size are taken indifferently by these traps which have obscure names, which are - or not - released later by a hunter or trapper. But these traps such as they are, do not make any distinction; cruel in essence, they have reason to be only a tradition, and of the pleasure that some people feel in using them! Those who are released have their legs or wings broken, feathers torn off by the spring traps, snares or nets. Not to mention the real psychological suffering that they also feel.

The government must accompany the evolution of society

Power cannot continually make decisions that negatively impacts on nature and its inhabitants, and presume to make efforts in protecting the environment. But developments are underway here too: the ministry had admitted at the hearing "of a very strong social opposition against this method of hunting." Tradition must not take precedence over animal cruelty. Our people are sensitive to that of animal well-being, and this must be reflected in the decisions that are to be made.

We look forward to explaining this as part of the Animal Welfare Working Group at the Ministry of Ecological and Solidarity Transition.

Please continue to sign our petition for radical hunting reform, calling for the abandonment of traditional hunting methods.

* The Birds Directive is a European directive. It requires EU Member States to put in place measures to protect migratory bird species whether they are migratory or not. For example, hunting is allowed only if the number of the birds concerned are at a "compatible" level that is within the scope of the agreed management of the species population figure.

Julia Mothé
Hr blog

In the subject

Breeding for hunting, reasons to say stop
Birds bred for hunting, a French scandal

Comments 33

I accept that publication of my comments is subject to the code of conduct.

Isaline | Sunday 13 January 2019

Avant de lire l'article je ne savais pas que cette sorte de chasse existait !
Je trouve cela cruel au plus haut point!
Je fais partie des personnes qui l'hiver nourrit les oiseaux pendant de longs mois, et alors que dans d'autres régions on les tue, c'est ahurissant !!!
Ces oiseaux sont si petits que je me demande bien ce qu'il peut y avoir à manger dessus?
Je n'arrive pas à comprendre que l'on puisse agir ainsi.
J'ai signé des pétitions et j'en signerai encore !!!

lilidoleron | Saturday 12 January 2019

Pour l'abandon des méthodes traditionnelles de chasse. Merci.

Linie | Saturday 05 January 2019

Tellement en colère...
Je ne comprends cette inaction totale du gouvernement pour notre nature.

Joelle | Thursday 03 January 2019

c'est inadmissible de faire souffrir les animaux je suis contre tout ça et j aime trop les animaux pour les voir souffrir