Mucus hunting has been declared illegal by the courts

France’s highest administrative court on Monday finally declared the glue hunt illegal, ending years of fighting between supporters and opponents of the controversial method.

After examining the European judiciary, which in March assessed that this capture technique inflicted “irreparable” damage on all captured birds, the State Council definitively revoked the exemptions granted by the state for this hunt, assessed “contrary to European law”.

This so-called “traditional” method of hunting is practiced in five departments in the southeast of France (Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, Alpes-Maritimes, Bouches-du-Rhône, Vaucluse and Var).

Intended for thrushes and hairs, it consists of catching birds on stalks coated with glue, called glue. Birds thus caught are placed in cages and served by singing to attract others for hunters.

But conservators have been fighting for its ban for years, condemning a “cruel” and indiscriminate method that leads to the capture of birds that are not targeted, including protected species.

Hunters ensure that incorrectly caught birds are cleaned and released.

Thanks to a number of opportunities to overturn government regulations granting exemptions that allow this hunting on the basis of tradition, the Council of State eventually turned to the Court of Justice of the European Union to determine whether it complied with the EU Birds Directive. .

The CJEU responded in March that “despite the cleanup, the captured birds suffer irreparable damage, and the mucus would by nature likely damage the feathers of all captured birds,” making the ban by the courts predictable. French administration. Which therefore passed on Monday a series of decisions in unresolved cases repealing the French abusive regulation.

The council notes in a statement that “neither the government nor the hunters’ union provided sufficient evidence” to confirm that other species were not captured or that “accidentally caught birds just released and cleaned would suffer negligible damage”.

Moreover, he considers that “the sole aim of preserving these traditions is not sufficient to justify a departure from the prohibitions of principle laid down by the European Directive and that it has not been established that no alternative would be possible.

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