Décision de justice

Traditional bird hunting: the Conseil d’État’s urgent applications judge suspends new authorisations

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The Conseil d’État’s urgent applications judge, acting on a referral by two animal protection associations, suspended new authorisations to hunt several birds (thrushes, blackbirds, lapwings, golden plovers, skylarks) using traditional techniques. In August, the Conseil d’État cancelled authorisations for previous years on the grounds that a 1989 regulation did not comply with European law. As the new authorisations were issued on the basis of the same regulation, the urgent applications judge considered that there were serious doubts as to their legality and therefore suspended them on an emergency basis.

On 6 August, the Conseil d’État cancelled ministerial authorisations to hunt lapwings, golden plovers, thrushes and blackbirds using tenderies (nets fixed to the ground or nooses depending on the species being hunted) in the Ardennes department, and skylarks using pantes (horizontal nets) and matoles (cages) in several departments of Aquitaine for the 2018 to 2020 seasons , on the grounds that the 1989 regulations on which these annual authorisations are based do not comply with the European “Birds” Directive of 30 November 2009.

On 12 October, the Minister for Ecological Transition issued new authorisations. The League for the Protection of Birds and the One Voice association, which had submitted petitions to the Conseil d’État for the previous seasons1, asked the urgent applications judge to suspend these authorisations for the 2021-2022 season on an emergency basis.

The Conseil d’État’s urgent applications judge noted that the new authorisations had been issued based on the same 1989 regulations.

The judge therefore suspended the eight authorisation orders issued on 12 October by the Minister for Ecological Transition. Following this initial emergency decision, the Conseil d’État will rule on the merits of the appeals against these orders in coming months.

Decisions of 6 August 2021