Thursday 17 March 2022 | 12

Réunion: a total emergency for tenrecs

Réunion: a total emergency for tenrecs

Mis à jour le 06 June 2022

Hunted down into the depths of their nests, in accordance with the practice of underground hunting with hounds, tenrecs, small mammals that are in decline, should not be hunted after 15 January. But the Réunion Prefect does not care about the law, nor about the breeding season. We have filed emergency interim proceedings for an annulment. The hearing will take place on 22 March at the Saint-Denis Administrative Tribunal.

Hr blog

Edit from 24 March 2022

The emergency interim proceeding ruling of 22 March 2022 unfortunately rejected our adjournment request.
Tenrecs will be slaughtered by diggers this year.
On the other hand, our submission for annulment is still under way.

A small mammal with a pointed snout, the tenrec resembles a European hedgehog and rolls up into a ball when it is scared. This timid animal likes to hide under a pile of leaves, near large protective trees. On Réunion island, they are sadly hunted without compassion. In 2019 – following a study carried out with the Departmental Federation of Hunters [Fédération départementale des chasseurs] – an article published by the French Office for Biodiversity also confirmed that while 100,000 tenrecs are killed by hunters every year, 150,000 are massacred by poachers and sold on the black market. The result: the tenrec is in decline today. And if authorities were to endeavour to protect them, this would not be the case. The conclusions of the study, however, could not be clearer: baby tenrecs are born between November and January, but births can happen up until the end of March or beginning of April. Yet, the Réunion Prefect has just issued a criminal decree, in which he defines the hunting season for tenrecs as being from 16 February to 13 April 2022. This totally disregards the reproduction cycles of this animal already in the process of disappearing.

Dug out and captured alive

So even if the Prefect does not care about preserving biodiversity, he is also acting illegally. Driven out with the help of dogs, the tenrecs are dug out and captured alive, using the cruel method of underground hunting with hounds. According to the Environmental Code, this practice is forbidden from 15 January. Although no one is supposed to ignore the law, even less so a representative of the rule of law, the Prefect himself thinks he’s above it.

Urgent legal action

Facing such contempt from the authorities with regard to respecting wild animals, we have filed a submission for the annulment of the Réunion Prefect’s decree. The hearing will take place on 22 March at the Saint-Denis Administrative Tribunal. For tenrecs, this is urgent.

Translated from the French by Joely Justice

Mélissa Saule
Hr blog

In the subject

Several thousand tenrecs killed in Réunion: yet hunting was illegal! Once again, a tribunal has noted that hunting Galliformes is illegal

Comments 12

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

Olivo | Tuesday 29 March 2022

Révocation définitive de ces fonctions du Préfet. Ces animaux ont le droit de vivre.

Jenny | Sunday 20 March 2022

La vènerie sous terre est une pratique atroce. Il faut absolument la faire interdire. Continuez le combat. Merci

Domino | Sunday 20 March 2022

Toutes ces chasses doivent être abolies.

Sandy | Sunday 20 March 2022

Halte à ce massacre !