Friday 12 October 2018 | 1

Decoys, these birds are taken hostage against their will

Decoys, these birds are taken hostage against their will

Mis à jour le 19 November 2018

They are called "callers". A pretty name that sounds like a pretty song. But this is live bait! Many species of birds are kept in captivity to encourage their wild congeners to get closer to the hunters’ rifles. One Voice protests against this odious practice where animals are turned into weapons against their own brothers!

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Different hunting practices compete with horror and cruelty. But if there is one that reaches the pinnacle of cynicism and cowardice, it is this: using captive animals to trap their wild congeners. But yes, what a rich idea! Hiding individuals in despicable conditions, depriving them of their natural behaviour and environment, making them reproduce according to our good will, manipulate them without any respect, with one and only goal: to attract those who are still free, at a sufficient distance to be able to fire and to execute them!

Live bait

Many species of birds are thus exploited as live bait by these amateurs of still life, in particular by the hunters of "waterfowl". The National Office for Hunting and Wildlife (ONCFS) lists about twenty species authorized for this job on the metropolitan territory, provided that the individuals were born and bred in captivity. They are mainly species of geese, surface ducks and diving ducks whose hunting is allowed, as well as coots. Among these sad puppets of hunting, the mallard is a "must". He will be particularly handy and able, against his own will, to give the illusion to the birds of the sky that the pond on which he seems to be resting is out of danger...

A macabre stage show

This is because hunters have more than one trick in their game bag! When the urge to pull the trigger arrives, they release "their" captive bred ducks in view to putting them in the water. But be careful, do not be misunderstand here! No intention to allow these prisoners to splash with envy... No, the idea is to place them strategically on the surface of the water so as to make them sing and answer more or less the calls of others and to attract these migrants to them. Hunters use this practice to form "teams", composed of males and females, which they position at their leisure by depriving them of freedom of movement.

All means are used to prevent these animals from flying or moving away ... They can be "fixed" in different ways, such as with rings attached to their legs, connected to ropes, connected to ropes and weights anchored to the bottom of the water or on pallet stakes or on floating trays. In all cases, the "callers" remain under the absolute control of those humans who exploit them. When wild ducks approach, flying over this rustic-looking scene, they are not suspicious. On the contrary! With a gregarious instinct, they want to meet the community that calls to them ... When they join, their fate is almost sealed. They are welcomed by a hail of bullets few of which miss their target.

Sordid conditions of captivity

Both actors and spectators are helpless in this tragedy, captive ducks endure real suffering. Their legitimate cries of distress seal the fate of the others as the bodies fall around them. When their owners have finished, that being the time when those who had the misfortune to fly over their heads have been shot down. The decoy ducks are then taken back to their cages where the word life has no meaning.

One Voice had the opportunity to discover a hiding place of captive mallards, in the Yonne, which was reported to us by a sympathizer. We will take the case to the ONCFS for an investigation to be conducted on site. The enclosures are deplorable: located in the darkness of the undergrowth, devoid of the least enrichment or a pool for bathing. Inside, there are tiny shelters made of plastic cans, some corn grinders and stagnant water bowls, and scarce pieces of bread on the ground.

Prostrate in a corner, next to the corpse of one of them, or what remains of it, the ducks observe as a permanent provocation the beautiful pond which they could benefit from...if they were free…if the world was turning, if some humans knew how to be "human".

Marie-Sophie Bazin
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In the subject

Poaching in Isère: night-time horror. The hearing is on 5 February in Valence Hearing on 7 February 2024 for an urgent suspension on tenrec hunting in Réunion

Comments 1

I accept that publication of my comments is subject to the code of conduct. | Saturday 07 December 2019

This practice is cruel and absolutely unacceptable