Tuesday 09 August 2022 | 11

Faced with our appeals against digging out badgers, several prefects are yielding!

Faced with our appeals against digging out badgers, several prefects are yielding!

Mis à jour le 21 November 2022

In Aisne and Gard, the prefects have removed badger digging from their decrees, faced with our appeals. The first has, in an amended decree, revoked the article concerning badger digging; the second has taken out badgers and foxes. This follows several legal victories that we won for badgers, fundamentally and recently also urgently.

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Photo: Claire Witham - CC BY-NC 2.0

We condemn the cruelty of digging out, a hunting technique that uses dogs to locate and keep badgers or foxes trapped at the bottom of their burrows, before hunters dig down and slaughter them mercilessly. Underground hound hunting is abominable, and leaves no way out for the animals, as we showed when we distributed our undercover investigation footage. This year, we have attacked numerous decrees allowing an extension of the period authorising hunters to indulge in ‘small game hunting’ throughout the summer, while it was already authorised during the rest of the year. Because yes, hunters demand that prefects — who do not need to be asked too much given that their decrees are often poorly justified — grant them a dispensation so that they can indulge in this macabre hobby, including during the spring and summer; in other words, whenever it suits them. Indeed, in winter, the ground is hard and they have ‘better’ things to do: shooting is permitted.

Two wins for badgers confirmed by withdrawal in Aisne and Gard!

We have just received written confirmation that, according to the Gard Prefecture, who chose to reformulate their decree to take out foxes and badgers after our appeal to the Administrative Tribunal in Nîmes*, it is now the Aisne Prefect’s turn to adapt theirs.

In Aisne, article 4 of the initial decree (the one that we were contesting) only concerns the additional period of underground hound hunting of badgers. At present, it has been completely taken out! The prefecture knew that they were going to lose and opted to repeal it.

These are two victories by withdrawal. This is a win for badgers and their young, weaned but not yet independent at this time of year, but also protects the passage of other animals that are protected species with whom they often share their setts, such as wild cats, Eurasian otters, or other non-protected species such as foxes.

Administrative justice more and more often saves badgers’ lives!

These withdrawals have come in after several fundamental victories before administrative tribunals. In Saône-et-Loire, for example, we obtained a cancellation of the 2020 decree. In Gironde and Ain, we also obtained a cancellation of the 2021 prefectural decrees by the courts. But the novelty this year is that in Haute-Garonne or in Corrèze in particular, the urgent applications judge urgently suspended the decrees for the additional period of underground badger hunting with hounds after having heard our arguments. Very good news that makes us optimistic for the future.

We have filed around ten fundamental appeals this year for badgers, which will be ruled on at a later stage. Others are currently being delivered, in partnership with others.

We are inviting you to support this movement against badger digging by signing the petition on the Senate’s website in large numbers. It still needs 40,000 signatures in the next month and a half; therefore, if you have not yet participated, now is the time! You can also sign the one that you will find on our site dedicated to the footage showing the true face of underground badger hunting with hounds. Together we can state loud and clear that ‘we love badgers’!

Edit from 02 September 2022:

*Contacted by the Gard Prefecture on Friday 2 September 2022, we learnt that, finally and contrary to what they had confirmed with us, the next decree will nevertheless include foxes. Only badgers have been taken out of it. The prefecture has therefore not kept their word.

Translated from the French by Joely Justice

Julia Mothé
Hr blog

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Comments 11

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

Ajoie | Friday 30 September 2022

Je ne comprends pas que dans un pays "civilisé" comme la France ces horreurs sont encore possibles!
Sûr notre pays la Suisse est plus petite et a aussi ses horreurs. Mais ces chasses me font sortir de mes gonds lorsque je lis toujours et toujours les mêmes tueries. Pourquoi ces politiciens sont intéréssés par ces chasses, déterrages ignobles? et ne font rien pour l'abolir?
Bon courage, beaucoup de force afin de vaincres ces horreurs.

Un bonjour suisse

Abeille sauvage | Wednesday 24 August 2022

Bravo pour vos actions contre le massacre de certains animaux dits "sauvages". Je signe toutes les pétitions qui me parviennent et j'en fais le transfert autant que je peux.
Je ne désespère pas que tous ceux qui œuvrent pour la défense des animaux sauvages obtiendront, un jour pas si lointain, gain de cause!

Syssy | Wednesday 17 August 2022

Non au déterrage des blaireaux. Ayons le courage d'interdire de telles pratiques et votons en masse pour que les arrêtés soient votés afin que cesse ce massacre. Laissons tous ces animaux, blaireaux, renards... vivre en toute liberté.

Jenny | Tuesday 16 August 2022

Merci pour cette victoire. J'espère qu'il y'en aura d'autres