FRANCE-NEWS AND COMMENT: In a bid to attract the countryside vote for his forthcoming presidential election campaign, President Macron has overturned a ban on the hunting of songbirds such as thrushes, blackbirds and lapwings using traditional methods such as nets, cages and nooses. President Macron purports to be an animal welfare advocate but he is a hypocrite.
The hunters who he supports say that they are animal lovers. They are misguided and also hypocrites. One of their number said that “when the President fights against the maltreatment of animals and against the hundred thousand pets abandon every year, we support him because we nearly all have dogs as our companions in hunting in life.”
And for “hunting” he means the killing of songbirds in traps and the right to catch up 105,000 larks in south-west France.
Last month, thousands of hunters marched in protest against a High Court ruling in June that France’s hunters breached a 2009 EU directive banning “large-scale or non-selected capture or killing of birds”. Up until then France had said that the trapping was legal because of exemptions in the EU legislation. The court ruled that the use of these exemptions was illegal. The European Court of Justice had already held France in breach of the exemptions.
However, on Friday, under government decrees, Macron’s government allowed the trapping of songbirds with different legal arguments to justify exemption. It’s just weasel words to get around the law which is plain and clear in order to get votes. I would hope that animal advocates take the French government to court again.
Macron says that there is no contradiction between his support of France’s hunters and his support for animal welfare and the environment. He is also misguided and being very cynical I’m afraid. It is transparent cynicism and it is plain for all to see.
Also, apparently, Macron has also promoted or supported all types of sport hunting including the pursuit on horseback foxes, deer and boar. In part because of Macron’s bias towards hunters, his environment minister, Nicholas Hulot resigned in 2018.
Also, Macron’s reforms include the halving of the cost of a licence to hunt with guns.
Allain Bougrain-Dubourg, head of the League for the Protection of Birds, said:
“I am outraged by the cynicism and vote catching of the President”.
SOME MORE ON HUNTING: