Thursday 22 June 2023 | 29

Instructions for public consultation on species likely to cause damage: how to oppose the ministerial draft decree in concrete terms

Instructions for public consultation on species likely to cause damage: how to oppose the ministerial draft decree in concrete terms

Mis à jour le 04 September 2023

From 15 June to 6 July, citizens are invited to give their opinion on the ministerial draft decree that will set which animals are considered as ‘species likely to cause damage’ and are victims of merciless hunting year-long for the next three years. A cruel list with no foundation - since the so-called damage is declarative and either little or badly verified - which we are helping you to oppose along with us.

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Updated every three years, the law setting the periods for and ways of killing animals classified as species likely to cause damage must in principle respond to specific requirements. It should also, whether protecting public health and safety or flora and fauna, prevent significant damage to agricultural, forestry, and aquacultural activities or any other kind of property. These claims, which we have particularly seen when coming to the aid of crows and ravens in Jura, are rarely implemented precisely by prefectures, which seem much quicker to please hunters than to be demanding on the reality of the problems that they put forward... Fortunately, there are many arguments to defend these blindly condemned animals against these destructive desires.

In the public consultation, you will find the draft decree, which specifies the animals targeted in each department in the appendix. Just below the link to download this decree, you can “leave a comment”. You can decide, for example, only to express yourself regarding animals in the department you live in, which will give weight to your participation.

Below we have given you some information to express your opposition to this classification. Of course, we believe that all animals have an intrinsic value that must not be compared with any human interests. But we are obliged to adapt our argument to the situation, at the risk of not being heard. Note: any copy and pasting will not be taken into account and it is therefore essential that you reformulate the arguments that you choose into your own words.

Animals are necessary for biodiversity

Not only do the individuals that the authorities want to hunt down have intrinsic value, but they are also intelligent and capable of experiencing suffering, as well as being essential to the environment, which the draft decree absolutely does not take into account, choosing to forget about their positive impact which is not insignificant.

By contributing to the regulation of the number of small rodents, foxes do us a lot more of a service than you may think. Simply by being present, they limit the movement of mice and other small rodents, which, by remaining at the entrance to their burrows, are less of a risk of transmitting Lyme disease to humans. But foxes are also beneficial to crops. By reducing the number of voles, they contain the damage caused in fields and thus the use of pesticides, which are harmful to ecosystems.

Rooks, carrion crows, Eurasian jays, and Eurasian magpies promote the dispersal of the grains that they eat and maintain the wild flora. Eurasian jays and Eurasian magpies even play a central role in forest renewal by supporting the development of oak and pine trees, while rooks and carrion crows protect crops from certain destructive insects whose larvae they eat.

Unnecessary or even counter productive measures

Many scientists agree in saying that mass slaughtering, which we will never accept no matter what the reason may be, does nothing to protect human interests.

We know that killing foxes to try to protect against diseases that are transmissible to humans and breeding animals to be sent to the abattoir is completely delusional. We can cite the Luxembourg case, which took foxes off the list of huntable species in 2015 and saw the number of cases of alveolar echinococcosis go from 40% down to 25% according to biologist Frédéric Jiguet. Weasels, martens, and stone martens have no chance of transmitting diseases to humans.

Birds classified as species likely to cause damage, in particular rooks, carrion crows, and starlings, are very intelligent and capable of implementing reproduction or emigration strategies to compensate for the loss of individuals that succumb. Suffice to say that the only ones to benefit from their death are those who take pleasure in slaughtering them with guns...

Along with us, ask for these animals to be taken off the list of species likely to cause damage and for the implementation of true alternative solutions to protect agricultural and other types of exploitation. If you are unable to post your comment on the Ministry’s site, as many people have reported to us, almost certainly due to the page being overcrowded, we recommend that you register to post it later. We are counting on you!

In concrete terms

GENERALLY:

  • animals are sensitive and sentient beings;
  • the positive impact of these animals, just as good for ecosystems as they are for human activity, is absolutely not taken into consideration by the draft decree submitted for consultation;
  • it is not shown that the regulation of these species’ populations has a positive impact on protected interests by classifying them as species likely to cause damage: on the contrary, the assessment is negative or even counter productive;
  • damage can be avoided by implementing true alternative solutions, such as filling in open holes in fences and coops, or combining several scaring methods in fields;
  • compilations of damage rely on a uniquely declarative biased model (declarations come from farmers and are often collected by hunters or trappers) which is not subject to any checks by the State.

THE POSITIVE IMPACT OF THESE SPECIES:

Foxes and small carnivorous mammals:

  • weasels, martens and stone martens: they contribute to the regulation of the number of small rodents that destroy crops – voles in particular – and must be considered as allies rather than enemies;
  • They curb the spread of Lyme disease: when there are predators, small rodents, who are vectors for the transmission of the disease, move less and stay closer to their burrows, thus lowering the risk of transmitting the disease.
  • weasels, martens and stone martens and public safety/health: weasels, martens, and stone martens do not pose a risk for human health given that these species are unlikely to transmit diseases/bacteria that they harbour to human beings.
  • foxes and public safety/health: specialists of this species who are interested in the issue of zoonotic diseases agree that slaughtering foxes due to the diseases that they could transmit to humans and to farm animals is scientifically unjustified. As shown by the Luxembourg case, following foxes being taken off the list of huntable species in 2015, it saw the number of cases of echinococcosis contaminations go from 40% down to 25% according to biologist Frédéric Jiguet.

Finally, particular emphasis should be placed on foxes’ role in regulating small rodents due to the majority (almost exclusively in some cases) of their diet being made up of voles whose ‘proliferations’ are often seen. Sparing the lives of foxes also avoids having to battle with chemicals to combat voles in fields.

Birds: 4 corvids and common starlings:

The regulation of birds classified as species likely to cause damage is portrayed by many scientists as unnecessary or even counter productive. It is currently accepted that some species (in particular rooks, carrion crows, starlings) compensate for the losses in their populations linked to regulation with reproduction or emigration strategies.

  • corvids: rooks, carrion crows, Eurasian jays, and Eurasian magpies: corvids’ diets are mainly composed of grains. Thus, they play a fundamental role in grain dispersion of wild flora.
  • rooks and carrion crows: they play the role of ‘cleaner’ for dead animals (or those too weak or sick to survive in the wild) and also have a beneficial role for insects that destroy crops as they eat their larvae.
  • Eurasian jays and Eurasian magpies: these two species play a key role in the natural renewal of forests, since they have an impact on the dissemination and development of oak and pine trees.

Translated from the French by Joely Justice

Marion Henriet
Hr blog

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Comments 29

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

marie-claude | Wednesday 08 November 2023

Tous les animaux apportent un plus à la nature, ce sont les humains qui sont nuisibles pour eux, il faut arrêter de tuer pour un oui ou pour un non.

LOIR | Wednesday 05 July 2023

Ces animaux doivent être protégés de certains humains qui pourraient être nuisibles.

jeanne marie Lamotte | Wednesday 05 July 2023

Toutes les espèces sont utiles aux autres espèces. Tuer n'apporte qu'un déséquilibre planétaire.

Melwynn | Wednesday 05 July 2023

Le mot "nuisible" est inacceptable concernant les animaux . Et ce d'autant plus que c'est eux qui ont contribué à l'apparition de la vie sur terre dans toute son exubérante diversité . Et qu'ils étaient là depuis longtemps déjà, bien avant notre apparition récente (et assez catastrophique d'ailleurs dans l'ensemble )!