PROACT FRANCE (OLD)

PROTEST LETTER 08/2002 TO EU COMMISSIONERS
Proact France | RAVE PARTY


LETTER TO THE EUROPEAN COMMISSIONERS FOR ENVIRONMENT AND REGIONAL POLICY

Please send this text by fax or letter as per the contact details at the end of the page; or by email by clicking on the link below:

Mail to European Commissioners Wallstrom and Barnier


DO NOT ALLOW FRANCE TO CIRCUMVENT THE EU BIRD DIRECTIVE

 

To:

 

Mrs Margot WALLSTROM

EU Commissioner for the Environment


Monsieur Michel BARNIER

EU Commissioner for Regional Policy and Institutional Reform

 

 

Dear Mrs Wallstrom,

Dear Monsieur Barnier,

 

 

In August the French Council of State (Conseil d'Etat), following appeals by the French Bird Protection League (LPO) and other associations concerned with the protection of nature, wisely suspended the hunting of ducks and other water birds until the beginning of September. The decision sadly did not encompass wading birds, or lapwings and geese, which may be hunted for the 3. and 10. of August respectively.

 

This early start to the inland hunting season will have serious implications for other protected waders, ducks and water birds which will not have ended their breeding process. As a consequence the disturbance caused in this sensitive period by hunters and their dogs greatly increases the risk of brood abandonment by adults and premature leaving of the nest by unfledged young birds.

 

This blatant pro-hunting bias, in open contempt of the views of the vast majority of non-hunting citizens in France, is a biological non-sequitur and is incompatible with the articles of the EU Birds Directive. These oblige member states to prohibit hunting during periods of migration, breeding and the dependence of young birds on their parents and, furthermore, demands that they should

 

"take all necessary measures to preserve and encourage the population of all the species of wild European birds at a level corresponding to ecological and scientific requirements"

(Article 2).


Article 7 also requires that states

 

"ensure that hunting of these species does not compromise conservation measures taken in their areas of distribution".


Of the wading birds which may be hunted from the beginning of August - and which breed in France those principally affected (Lapwing, Snipe, Black-tailed Godwit, Curlew, Ruff and Redshank) are known to be in decline
throughout France and Europe, due to the more than 50 per cent reduction in wetland sites in the last 20 years). Globally, nearlyhalf of the hunted migratory birds in France are in decline or vulnerable,principally as a result of habitat loss or deterioration. A number of these species benefit elsewhere from a Community management plan and a moratorium on hunting should be considered for certain species (Snipe, Redshank, Lapwing), at least for an interim period.



We, the undersigned, are personally pledged to actively support and promote the protection of birds and their habitats, in particular during the periods of migration, reproduction and fledging.


From its government's actions (or rather inaction) we can only conclude that France is unwilling to be commit herself to an ambitious nature and environment protection policy. On the contrary, rather than following the potentially rewarding path of Ecotourism, she capitulates to the hunting lobby which continue to campaign for revisions of the European Union Birds Directive of April 1979.



We therefore urge you, as the Commissioners with the most direct responsibility in this matter, to ensure that the European Union insists that France, like other member states, respects and fulfils its obligations arising from the Birds Directive, most particularly in relation to curtailment of  the hunting season in favour of the protection of migratory European bird species.



In the hope that you will take an active and interest in this matter we remain,

 

Yours sincerely,

 

 

(Name and Address)

 

 


Contact details:

 

EUROPEAN COMMISSION

Rue de la Loi,

200B - 1049 BRUXELLES BELGIQUE



E-Mail: Margot.Wallstrom@cec.eu.int
Fax : + 322 298 18 99


E-Mail : cabinet-barnier@cec.eu.int
Fax : +322 298 15 99

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