The good news from France (Curlews) and the very bad news about autumn trapping
Together with other Curlew conservation organisations we are delighted with the decision of the French Council to fix the Curlew hunting quota at zero for 2019/20. In striking contrast the French government has approved the legal trapping and hunting of more than 150,000 wild birds in France this season – a total higher than last year’s permitted catches. The figures, published on 5 September, legalise the use of various trapping methods, some of which are widely considered inhumane and invariably inflict pain and suffering on the trapped birds. The approved licences include the use of gluesticks (or limesticks) to ensnare 42,500 thrushes in five departments of the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region and the employment of pantes (large horizontal nets) or matoles (small hanging cages) to catch an extraordinary 106,500 Eurasian Skylarks in the Landes, Gironde, Lot et Garonne and Pyrénées-Atlantiques departments. Aditionally, 5,800 thrushes, 1,200 Northern Lapwings and 30 European Golden Plovers may be capture by nets or snares in the Ardennes region and the shooting of 18,000 (EIGHTEEN THOUSAND) Turtle Doves. Remarkably, these developments come just weeks after the European Commission warned France for failing to meet its obligations to protect endangered species on 25 July, targeting in particular the country’s undifferentiated trapping under the pretext of tradition.