France suspends the controversial glue trap for songbirds

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PARIS (Reuters) – France has suspended glue trapping of songbirds this year, but stopped before abolishing the controversial practice which is criticized as barbaric by bird enthusiasts and banned by regulations. ‘European Union.

FILE PHOTO: A song thrush sings a song on a tree branch in the Central Botanical Garden in Minsk, Belarus May 17, 2020. REUTERS / Vasily Fedosenko

President Emmanuel Macron said in a statement Thursday that following a meeting with Environment Minister Barbara Pompili and President of the Hunting Federation Willy Schraen, the thrush and blackbird hunting quota with glue traps will be zeroed this year.

France is the only country to still allow the capture of birds with glue traps – and other “traditional” methods such as snares and nets – despite a ban by the European Union in 1979.

Under a 1989 decree authorizing glue trapping as long as it is “selective, controlled and in limited quantity”, France has authorized the practice each year despite protests from bird protection organizations, which claim that glue traps cause severe stress and so do protected species. caught in them.

“It’s a good result, because until now, every year an exception has been made to allow hunting. But they are not banning the practice, they are only suspending it, ”the president of the France Association for the Protection of Birds, Yves Verilhac, told Reuters.

The association says glue trapping is a “cruel and odious” practice of a bygone era and that France should join other EU countries in banning it altogether.

Verilhac said Macron was only responding to an injunction from the European Union on July 4 and the threat of EU legal action against France.

The statement from the Elysee Palace said France was awaiting a response from the European Court of Justice on legal issues related to glue trapping.

The head of the hunting federation, Schraen, told BFM television that there was no reason to ban glue trapping and that his association would challenge the decision in court.

“There are only a few thousand hunters in the south of France and they have been doing so for decades. It has no impact on the number of birds, ”he said.

He said no protected species were caught in this way and the suspension was a purely political decision.

“I defend these rural values, which must endure,” he said.

Report the Geert De Clercq; Montage by Kirsten Donovan

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