Wildlife: EU goes after France over illegal bird hunting


WildlifeEU condemns France for poaching illegal birds

On Thursday, the European Commission asked France to stop certain practices aimed at catching the birds. This is not the first time.

France allows various methods of catching game birds, such as nets and cage traps for larks and pigeons, which are banned in the EU.


The European Commission on Thursday again asked France to end illegal bird hunting methods, such as the use of glue, which have been consistently condemned by environmentalists.

Brussels opened an infringement procedure against France in 2019. Unsatisfied with Paris’s responses, it initiated a second phase in December 2020 by asking France to formally comply (issuance of a reasoned opinion). “The Commission calls on France to put an end to the hunting methods prohibited by the 2009 directive on the protection of wild birds,” the European executive writes in a press release published on Thursday.

Illegal techniques

France, which will be sent an “additional reasoned opinion”, now has two months to respond and take the necessary steps, failing which the Commission could refer the case to the EU Court of Justice, leading to a procedure. For financial penalties.

A 2009 European directive prohibits mass capture techniques of birds without distinction of species. It explains that “France has authorized several methods to capture birds of prey, such as nets and trap cages for larks and pigeons, including pigeons, which are not selective”, meaning they lead to the capture of birds other than the target birds, and are prohibited in the EU. European Executive.

“The use of glue to hunt thrushes is still authorized by French law, in violation of the directive”, the Commission regrets, while hunting with glue is prohibited in all other Member States. In addition, “France has announced its intention to reopen the spring hunt for greylag goose”, which is also banned in Europe, the Commission further regrets.

Red listed

In June 2021 gum hunting was deemed definitely illegal in France by the Council of State, the country’s highest administrative court. But the 1989 order regarding this hunting practice has not yet been repealed, which is theoretically the responsibility of the state to provide from time to time. Exceptions are made for hunter-gatherers, although this method is not practiced today in practice.

“Of the 64 species of birds that can be hunted in France, 20 species are listed on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species, which is against European law,” said AFP Matthieu Orphelin. General (LPO) of the League for the Protection of Birds. He added that French President “Emmanuel Macron has taken steps to remove them from the huntable species list, and we are still waiting.”


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