Tuesday 18 July 2023 | 1

One Voice is urgently referring to the legal system against the Ariège Prefecture: freedom emergency interim hearing tomorrow at 11:30am in Toulouse

One Voice is urgently referring to the legal system against the Ariège Prefecture: freedom emergency interim hearing tomorrow at 11:30am in Toulouse

Mis à jour le 23 October 2023

For more than two weeks, the Ariège Prefecture has been publishing decrees authorising the implementation of scaring measures using sound effect shots on brown bears with a view to “preventing damage to herds”. These decrees are systematically published to be applied within 48 hours. We protest against this procedure which, as well as posing a problem for bears, also prevents any appeal within an acceptable time frame. The administration are thus knowingly circumventing regulations. They are looking to avoid the situation that happened in summer 2022, where we had its nine decrees allowing bear scaring suspended and then cancelled. We have therefore filed four freedom emergency interim applications. The hearing will take place on Wednesday 19 July at 11:30am at the Toulouse Administrative Tribunal.

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Photo: Collectif Hope ferestecspirineus wildlife photos

Since last year, we have been successful in urgently suspending 9 decrees by the Ariège Prefecture, who have clearly decided to change their strategy, on bear scaring shots. From now on, it is publishing its decrees in such a way that they are applied from the following day and for a maximum duration of two days. They repeat this as often as necessary.

Short-circuiting the regulations

The decrees of Monday 3 July 2023 have authorised bear scaring in the Arreau and Trapech groups’ pastures, which contain 1800 and 2000 sheep respectively, while no night park is set up in these two pastures. These measures were authorised and carried out over two subsequent nights, from 4 to 5 and 5 to 6 July, between 8pm and 7:30am.

On 10 July, the same thing happened on these same pastures. Once again, the prefectural measures were carried out the day following their publication, from Tuesday 11 July at 8pm to Wednesday 12 July at 7:30am and on the following night at the same times.

The Prefect’s ideal is clearly to short-circuit any legal plea and to thus deprive any person or organisation interested in their rights of an effective solution. In fact, even if we were to refer the matter to the courts immediately after the decrees are published, no legal decision would be made before the authorised measures are carried out completely, because, in the context of a suspension interim proceeding, the judges’ decision generally does not take place for between a few days and a few weeks.

After two previous prefectural attempts, we are immediately opposing a third

But we will not leave the bears prey to this vicious bypassing by State services, for pastures that are not even properly protected! This is why we are fighting today with new weapons to put an end to this intolerable prefectural strategy that is becoming more and more widespread.

When, yesterday at the end of the day, the Ariège Department published 3 new decrees authorising these sound shots that are terrorising brown bears in the Arreau and Trapech shepherding groups, as well as in the Massat le Port pasture, from the evening into the following night, we were ready.

The freedom emergency interim hearing is the only plea that would make it possible to obtain a decision before the prefectural decree is completely executed. In fact, the judge must rule within a maximum of 48 hours. We have therefore filed three from today, to try to assert the violation of the right to a balanced environment as well as another so that the Prefect will be compelled to publish their actions with a sufficient time frame before the implementation of scaring measures. The hearing will take place tomorrow, 19 July at 11:30am at the Toulouse Administrative Tribunal.

Translated from the French by Joely Justice

Julia Mothé
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Comments 1

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trochu | Wednesday 19 July 2023

C'est inacceptable, tout est fait pour arranger éleveurs et chasseurs et ne surtout pas les offenser ou se les mettre à dos, étant donné qu'ils sont soutenus par notre président... Et tout cela, au détriment d'animaux dont les ours, qui sont effrayés au risque de se perdre et de perdre leurs petits. C'est scandaleux, cette préfète n'a donc rien de mieux à faire que d'autoriser des tirs d'effarouchement pour ces animaux ? Nous prenons conscience de jour en jour du peu de considération envers les animaux par ce gouvernement et les autorités. J'espère profondément que vous obtiendrez à nouveau gain de cause en faisant annuler tous ces arrêtés ignobles à l'encontre des ours qui doivent continuer à être protégés comme tous les autres animaux.