Wednesday 24 August 2022 | 17

One Voice has had all of the prefectural decrees that allow the scaring of brown bears in Ariège suspended!

One Voice has had all of the prefectural decrees that allow the scaring of brown bears in Ariège suspended!

Mis à jour le 23 November 2022

What a magnificent victory for brown bears at the Toulouse Administrative Tribunal! After an initial urgent suspension at the beginning of August, it was the turn of six other decrees issued by the Ariège Prefecture between 22 June and 7 July 2022 to be suspended! They authorised scaring shots near and on brown bears that live on in the Pyrenees during the 2022 season.

Hr blog

Illustrative photo: a bear and her cubs in Germany

After the hearing on 8 August, where our lawyer, Hélène Thouy, fought argument after argument against the Prefecture, it will have taken almost ten additional days to close the investigation. Days during which elements of both sides continued to be exchanged mercilessly. But the doubt benefited the bears on every level, especially since the Prefecture had no proof for what they were saying to justify the scaring shots.

Administrative tribunals more and more amenable to arguments in favour of animals

Being daring, which pushed us to attack the interim suspension orders — that is to say to urgently interrupt the shooting being put into practice, — has paid off! Perhaps we rejoice in this victory because we think that the tribunals are more and more open to arguments in favour of animals; perhaps because the climate and biodiversity crisis is finally getting through to the tribunals. Or perhaps our arguments are better and better expressed and backed up by data. Perhaps also because the requirement for the State to set an example expected by our fellow citizens has also ended up affecting the judges, who from now on would like any decision to be substantiated and not to seem arbitrary or to be supporting private interests or any corporatism.

We would like to offer peace to these already fragile bears!

Brown bears in France have disappeared bit by bit over the course of time, under human pressures. There are therefore few bears in the Pyrenees. Their population is stagnating below the threshold of viability for the species. There are only about one hundred bears in France, and they feed mainly on vegetation. We are far from the fantasies and irrational fears spread about them by farmers, who are compensated in any case, and always send their herds to the abattoir.

These scarings, required by the State (in the absence of lethal shots called for by farmers) due to the protected status of the species enjoyed by bears on a European and French level, are harmful nevertheless. Particularly because they are susceptible to preventing the female bears from carrying their pregnancies to term, threatening the survival of the species and the individuals concerned.

« It is vital to allow the possibility for brown bears to take back possession of their space. Our species quashes others everywhere and all of the time to ensure their own safety. But we have come too far, the planet is dying with the animals and even us... It is more than time for us to give them what is rightfully theirs. The bears all have their place in the Pyrenean mountains, as do the wolves in the Alpes or the sharks at Réunion Island too. »
Muriel Arnal, President of One Voice

Leave nature be...

One Voice incidentally does not support the reintroduction process by humans. What is the use in subjecting them to capture and uprooting them from bears elsewhere, often already pregnant and vulnerable, to force them into a place where nothing is done for their welfare and where a multitude of people want them dead?! The farmers working on the mountain pastures concerned by the suspended decrees are now talking in hushed tones about poaching them...

One Voice does however support, amongst others in the Pyrenees, making natural spaces a sanctuary and rewilding.

Seven hidden mountain pastures!

Bears will thus have the possibility of evolving freely in the mountain pastures of the pastoral groups in Taus-Espugues, Arreau, Coumebière, Sentenac d’Oust, l'Izard, Ourdouas, and, of course, Ustou Col d’Escots where the favourable decision was obtained at the start of August 2022

As a reminder, the State Council has already cancelled the ministerial decrees of 2019 and 2020, allowing prefects to put decrees in place like those that we just got the immediate suspension for. We have therefore launched proceedings alongside this to get the one from this year, published on 20 June 2022, cancelled. We are waiting for a date in the months to come.

Translated from the French by Joely Justice

Julia Mothé
Hr blog

In the subject

Stuffed animal trafficking: three men are going before the Nancy Legal Tribunal on 13 October Wolves: Coordination Rurale (CR87) in Haute-Vienne tries to silence One Voice by banning a protest

Comments 17

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

Patricia | Wednesday 31 August 2022

Je ne comprend pas cet acharnement contre les ours. C'est récurrent, un coup contre une espèce, un coup contre une autre espèce. La France n'est pas l'amie des animaux.

Tartine | Monday 29 August 2022

Les ours doivent être protégés de l’irresponsabilité du gouvernement

Dominique Benoît | Saturday 27 August 2022


Chantal81 | Friday 26 August 2022

Merci et quel bonheur pour ces victoires qui me redonnent espoir et envie de vivre !