French hunters of Provence glue thrushes to twigs and branches

Bird glued to branch

NEWS-VIEWS FRANCE: I’ve just learned about this. From my perspective it is a disgusting practice but it is apparently commonplace in Provence, France. I’m told that the practice of limestick trapping was developed in ancient Greece. Hunters cover twigs and branches in glue so the birds become stuck when they land. The hunters then capture the birds alive and use them as call-birds to attract others within range of their guns. This allows them to shoot more birds.

Bird glued to branch

The hunters say that this is not cruel and respectful of the birds. Photo: Alamy

The potentially good news is that the hunters from Provence engaged in this may have to stop because President Micron’s government has threatened to ban the practice. The hunters are, as expected, up in arms. The Minister for economic transition, Barbara Pompili, said that at a meeting with the hunters that she would outlaw limestick trapping.

The practice has been denounced by the French Bird Protection League as being cruel. They also argue that the solvents used to clean the glue off the feathers do irreversible damage to the birds.

The practice is prohibited in almost all European countries including most of France and the UK. However, it is still permitted in Provence where the region’s 6,000 hunters are allowed to capture tens of thousands of thrushes between October and December annually. They argue that it is a local custom to limestick trap the birds and therefore should continue.

The European commission had stated that France needs to take urgent action to protect birds because of the 64 species hunted in the country only 20 had a satisfactory population size. They say that limestick trapping has to end together with the hunting of geese during springtime migration and the shooting of turtle doves.

The ban is scheduled to be implemented from next year. The practice is considered archaic and it is terrible and cruel for the birds. In defence, Eric Camoin, the chairman of the Association for the Defence of Traditional Thrush Hunting said:

There is nothing barbaric about this practice. It’s completely respectful. The birds are not killed, they serve as call-birds and if we want them to sing, we have to look after them. We are fed up with being insulted, threatened and attacked. This green lobby is a disgrace.

Hunting advocates say that Mr macron is reneging on his word when he promised to defend traditional practices in France. There are plans to demonstrate during Macron’s holiday at his presidential holiday home on the Riviera when he arrives there with his wife on Wednesday.