France suspends but not bans controversial glue-trapping of songbirds

Bird in tree, photo: Nicolas DC on Unsplash
Bird in tree, photo: Nicolas DC on Unsplash

France has suspended the glue-trapping of songbirds this year but has not completely terminated the controversial practice, which is criticized as barbaric and forbidden under European Union regulations.

President Emmanuel Macron said in a statement on Thursday that, following a meeting with environment minister Barbara Pompili and hunting federation president Willy Schraen, the quota for hunting thrushes and blackbirds with glue traps will be set to zero this year.

France is the only country to still allow the catching of birds with glue traps – and other “traditional” methods such as snares and nets – despite a 1979 European Union ban.

The European country has allowed the practice every year despite protests by bird protection organizations, who say that glue traps cause severe stress and that protected species are also caught in them.

“This is a good result because until now every year an exception was made allowing the hunt. But they are not banning the practice, only suspending it,” France Bird Protection Association president Yves Verilhac told Reuters.

The association says glue trapping is a cruel practice from a bygone era and that France should join other EU nations in outlawing it completely.

Hunting federation chief Schraen said on BFM televison that there was no reason to ban glue trapping and that his association would fight the decision in court.

“There are just a few thousand hunters in the south of France and they have been doing this for decades. It has no impact on bird numbers” he said, not addressing the suffering of birds. “I defend these rural values, which must continue.”

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