France Top Court bans Traditional Bird Hunting Practicesbird Law Insider

Deepali Kalia-

Published on August 07, 2021, 16:21 IST

On August 6, the Top Administrative Court of France, following the ban on glue hunting of birds in June, banned even more traditional techniques for hunting birds.

The State Council’s verdict regarding glue traps in June had come after it was held by the European Union Court of Justice in March that glue traps which were used for hunting caused ‘irreparable harm’ to the thrushes and blackbirds that were caught by using it.

The new verdict by the State Council banned the techniques of hunting with nets or bird cages, which are popular in the Ardennes region of the east of France and the southwest of the country.

The verdict repealed the exemptions given by the government which allowed the hunting of birds such as golden plovers, lapwings, skylarks, blackbirds and thrushes following the 2009 European Union directive that prohibited mass hunting of birds regardless of species.

The Top Court of France stated in its verdict that the government was unable to prove why such practices were necessary and the “Idea alone of preserving so-called ‘traditional’ methods is not enough to authorize them.”

Environmental activists have hailed the verdict whereas the hunting enthusiasts have denounced the verdict.

 The League for the Protection of Birds (LPO), one of the groups which had filed the complaint stated that it was about time that the government outlawed practices that came from another age.

LPO’s president, Allain Bougrain-Dubourg stated, “While biodiversity is collapsing and with it bird populations, France had to be pushed into a corner by the threat of an exemplary condemnation by the EU Court of Justice.”

One Voice, another NGO which had filed the complaint stated that because of the exemptions which have been outlawed in the judgment, 100,000 birds per year were being killed, excluding the birds killed accidentally.

The NGO said, “It’s an immense victory for birds.”

However, France’s National Federation of Hunters denounced the verdict stating that it was ‘devoid of the slightest serious basis’ and promised to avail other legal recourses.

Willy Schraen said, “For us, traditional hunts are the very essence of our passion for hunting and will always be at the heart of the defense of our hunting practices.”

Also Read: Unpacking France’s new Radicalism law and its impact on minority rights

Related Post