The traditional trapping of wild birds, soon ancient history?

For the fourth consecutive year, the Council of State declares illegal the ministerial decrees authorizing the traditional trapping of wild birds. welcomes this decision and asks the Ministry of Ecological Transition to draw the necessary consequences!

Justice has decided to spare the lives of more than 113,000 birds! By a decision rendered on November 23, 2022, the high administrative court canceled the ministerial decrees of October 12, 2021 which authorized, in several departments of the south west, for the 2021-2022 hunting season, the capture and destruction of 106,000 larks , 5800 thrushes and blackbirds and 1230 plovers and lapwings, by traditional trapping devices such as pantes, matoles and tenderries.

In principle, hunting techniques that capture birds massively and without distinction of species (in particular nets, traps and other traps) are prohibited, under the European “Birds” directive of November 30, 2009. However, this European text provides for a derogation under two conditions. Firstthere is no other way to capture the target species; secondthe technique thus used is selective, in the sense that it makes it possible to capture only the target species (or other species, but in very small quantities and without harming them).

However, according to the Council of State, these criteria are not respected in this case. ” The ministry does not demonstrate that these traditional hunting methods are the only ones allowing the capture of these bird species on the territories concerned, nor that they only capture other birds in small quantities.observes the press release. Satisfactory alternative solutions exist: shooting or breeding “.

Serial suspensions and cancellations

Fortunately, even if the decision of the Council of State comes more than a year after the promulgation of the disputed decrees, the judge in chambers had already pronounced their suspension, a few days after their publication, thus saving the lives of thousands of birds. In total, four series of decrees have been suspended and then canceled during the last four hunting seasons. What to call into question, once and for all, this government policy of destruction of birds.

However, in October 2022, the Minister for Ecological Transition Christophe Béchu had ignored this jurisprudential trend by renewing, by decree, these same controversial practices for the new hunting season 2022-2023. And this, while he himself had undertaken to wait for the “opinion” of the Council of State before adopting any new decision on this subject! Once again, the said orders had been urgently suspended a few days later.

“State cynicism for the benefit of a few thousand hunters”?

Unfortunately, birds could have been killed in the meantime, completely legally. ” As usual, the State took the decrees the day before their application in order to allow hunters to trap the time that the judgments, which it knew in advance unfavorable, were rendered.deplores the League for the Protection of Birds in this regard. This “state cynicism”, to the benefit of a few thousand hunters and to the detriment of biodiversity, undermines trust in institutions. »

It is now up to the Government to take the necessary measures to definitively abolish these practices from another era… A paradigm shift that is all the more urgent since France has been called to order by the European Union for not – compliance with the Birds Directive.

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