Monday 12 December 2022 | 0

Official hunts: One Voice is fighting the decrees from the Moselle and Bouches-du-Rhône Prefects

Official hunts: One Voice is fighting the decrees from the Moselle and Bouches-du-Rhône Prefects

Mis à jour le 19 January 2023

Official hunts authorised in Moselle and Bouches-du-Rhône are not justified under the law, and above all pursue the objective of satisfying hunters’ needs. One Voice is fighting two decrees, to remind the prefects that official hunts, different from the hunting regime, must remain exceptional and respond to precise circumstances. The hearing against the prefect’s decree is set for 14 December 2022 in Strasbourg, and the Marseille Administrative Tribunal urgent applications judge will set the date for the hearing against the Bouches-du-Rhône decree at a later date.

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Edit from 12 December 2022:

We had barely filed our urgent emergency interim suspension and cancellation plea when the Moselle Prefecture revoked their decree. A victory by default that we are delighted by because the planned massacre will therefore not take place! The hearing on 14 December in Strasbourg has been cancelled.

Official hunts allow the prefect to arrange, at any time, including during the night and outside of the hunting season, the killing of certain animals. However, this possibility is guided by the law and must respect the conditions set in the Environmental Code. The hunt must in particular be legally justified by proof of ‘significant damage’ caused by animals to crops, or even due to health risks.

Nowadays, official hunts have turned away from their original aim for the sole purpose of responding to hunters’ demands.

The Moselle Prefect’s decree of 9 November that we are fighting authorises an official hunt of more than seven months (up to 30 June 2023) targeting wild boars, wood pigeons, stock doves, rock doves, rooks, and carrion crows. The decree is clear: its objective is “the destruction of all” of the six species of animals concerned. A planned massacre.

In Bouches-du-Rhône, the Prefect authorised an official deer hunt. The hunter who will carry it out will put all those who it comes across in several hectares of land to death, and can hunt them “in all areas where they come from” and “in all areas in which they take refuge”. Everyone and everywhere, in short...

Prefectures could have made an effort to argue to show that they do not blindly obey the hunters’ lobby... But in both cases, no precise figures are provided to support the ‘significant damage’ caused by the animals targeted. Prefects are happy with general statements and reports on damage that they have no proof of. They also do not provide enough guidance on official hunts, either geographically or of their plans. And clearly, these two decrees have not been submitted for public consultation...

Official hunts must remain rare, and cannot establish exemptions in agreement with hunters for them to get out of following hunting regulations.

While hunts have already begun in these two departments, One Voice will be at the Strasbourg and Marseille Administrative Tribunals to get animals’ voices heard and remind the prefects that they cannot avoid the law to satisfy hunters.

One Voice is reiterating its appeal for a radical reform of hunting: to support this appeal, sign our petition!

Translated from the French by Joely Justice

Maxime Lambret
Hr blog

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