The use of glue bird traps was suspended by French President Emmanuel Macron to stop the controversial practice of hunting birds on Thursday.
France was warned in July this year by the European Commission that it would face legal sanction should the practice continue, and was given three months to comply with the EU’s 2009 Bird Directive.
Macron suspended the legal practice this year while awaiting the legal opinion from the European Court of Justice (ECJ) on the issue.
(Photo: Wikimedia Commons)
A common blackbird which is trapped using glue and stick in France. The use of glue bird traps was suspended by French President Emmanuel Macron to stop the controversial practice of hunting birds on Thursday.
In France, the practice of using glue birds traps to catch thrushes and blackbirds is still allowed.
The birds are captured by verguettes or sticks covered by glue. The sticky substance is then washed with chemicals, caged, kept in dark for months, and then taken out of daylight to sing and attract other birds. Birds coming close are then shot by hunters in cabins or get stuck in verguettes.
The glue trap method has earned criticism as it is non-selective and cruel, but it also harms other birds such as robins and tits. Activists described the method as barbaric.
There are at least 150,000 birds that die every year from non-selective hunting techniques such as glue traps and nets, environmentalists report and the European bird population is also declining.
France is the only country in Europe that allows glue bird traps.
The EU 2009 Bird Directive
The European Commission gave France three months to address its concerns in July.
In the warning, European Commission stated that France “has authorized several methods for the capture of birds, such as glue for thrushes, nets, and traps for skylark and pigeons, which are not selective and are forbidden by the Directive.”
“Member states may derogate with some provisions under strict condition that are not fulfilled in this case,” the warning also stated.
The Commission also expressed concern that “most of the species captured are not in good conservation status.”
At least 32 percent of the EU’s bird species are not in good status. In France, the 64 species allowed for hunting had only 20 species that are in good conservation status.
According to Birdlife International, France allows hunting for 64 species. The Netherlands only allows two. The EU allows an average of 30 species, making France the “most forgiving country for hunters.”
Meanwhile, Thierry Coste of the National Federation of Hunters (FNC) maintains their methods are strictly supervised, citing that they observe strict rules such as specific hours of the day, cleaning and releasing other birds when hunting thrushes for bird songs.
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