Allier, Puy-de-Dôme, Vienne… Badgers spared by the courts

Allier, Puy-de-Dôme, Vienne… Badgers spared by the courts


Badger digging has been suspended in the Allier, Puy-de-Dôme, and Vienne Departments from 31 May 2023.

Now 9! Victories are coming one after the other for badgers: referred to by One Voice, the Clermont-Ferrand Administrative Tribunal has just urgently suspended the additional period for underground badger hunting with hounds in these departments. The Poitiers Administrative Tribunal has done the same in Vienne.

Decision after decision, the legal system is confirming that the decrees authorising badger digging in the spring must be suspended. In these three departments, badger cubs and their families will therefore have their lives saved in the weeks and months to come.

In Allier and Puy-de-Dôme, where One Voice were fighting along with FNE Allier and FNE Puy-de-Dôme, the prefectural decrees had authorised digging out from 15 May to 30 June. Even though departmental federations of hunters intervene with support for the prefecture to defend this ‘hobby’ that, each year, leads to thousands of badgers dying in unbearable suffering, the urgent applications judge swept away their arguments. Not only that the decrees had been passed following improper procedures, but the rulings confirm that this type of hunting puts the badger cubs present in the setts in the spring and summer in danger.

In Poitiers, referred to by One Voice, the LPO, and Vienne Nature, the tribunal followed the same reasoning and suspended digging out from 1 June to 30 June in the Vienne Department. In particular, they took into consideration, as we asked them to, that the badger cubs would be seen as ‘young’ as long as they had not reached sexual maturity, so at around one year old.

In the weeks to come, we will continue to lead the fight against the persecution that badgers are victims of. We will renew our appeal in these three departments to obtain a suspension on digging out until September.

Throughout France, other tribunals will be asked to decide in the coming weeks:

  • on 5 June at 2pm, we will be in Orléans to defend the Eure-et-Loir and Loiret badgers;
  • on 6 June, we will take action at 11am at the Châlons-en-Champagne Administrative Tribunal to obtain a suspension of the Aube Prefect’s decree, and at 2pm at the one in Bordeaux against the Lot-et-Garonne Prefect’s decree;
  • on 8 June at 11am, we will be at the Rennes Administrative Tribunal to put a stop to badger digging in Ille-et-Villaine this summer;
  • and on 13 June at 10am, at the Nancy Administrative Tribunal regarding Meuse.

The Nantes Administrative Tribunal’s decision (hearing on 26 May for a prefectural decree regarding Vendée) is set for around 5 June, and the one for the Lyon Administrative Tribunal (hearing on 31 May regarding Rhône) at the end of the week or the start of the following week.

While One Voice and other associations have recently filed a complaint before the Bern Committee to denounce the treatment given to badgers in France, it is now time more than ever to insist on a pure and simple abolition of underground hunting with hounds!

Translated from the French by Joely Justice