France reprimanded over controversial bird hunting practices


France reprimanded over controversial bird hunting practices

22 June 2020
Paris has ignored a letter of formal notice sent by the European Commission in July last year, which calls on French authorities to stop illegal bird hunting.

The French government even doubled down in May by publishing a decree, which maintains controversial bird hunting techniques that are prohibited at EU level.

Vivian Loonela, EU Commission spokesperson on the environment, says the infringement case was still open.

“The Commission is aware of the publication of this new decree and will consider this new element in the follow up of the case,” she told EURACTIV in emailed comments.

“The Commission is requesting France to ban non-selective hunting practices, such as glue and nets, which are not in line with the requirements of this Birds Directive,” Loonela said.

While EU countries “may derogate from certain provisions of the directive,” they may only do so “under strict conditions that are not fulfilled in this case,” Loonela explained.

The controversial hunting techniques are decried by the Ligue de protections des oiseaux (LPO), a French conservation NGO affiliated to BirdLife International.