Published on Boxing Day, a decree “gift for hunters” bristles defenders of animals

Hunting in debatecase

A decree published on Sunday reduces the time between the publication of the annual decree opening shooting hunting and its entry into force. An obstacle to legal remedies, denounce animal rights associations.

He appeared discreetly, in his little shoes, on Boxing Day. A decree, published in Official Journal Sunday, December 26, went almost unnoticed … before jumping out of bed environmentalists and animal rights activists. The text in question is concerned with the annual decrees, taken by the prefects, which officially launch the hunting season each year. They fix the calendar, the hours and days of the hunt, the safety rules, the “samples” of authorized animals, and so on. The text published in the “JO” plans to reduce “The time between the publication of the annual prefectural decree opening shooting hunting and its entry into effect from 20 days to seven days”. For the number of animals to be sampled, the deadline passes “From one month or three weeks to seven days”. A change far from trivial.

Because during these deadlines that the government has decided to shorten, associations for the defense of species regularly go to court to limit the practices. “The goal, very clearly, is to prevent us from making summary proceedings, squeaks Muriel Arnal, president of the One Voice association. In seven days, the time to take note of the decree, to put together a case, to file it in court, it will be too late… The hunt will take place. ”

“Desolate method”

Several animal protection associations, such as the Bird Protection League (LPO) or 30 million friends have castigated this government decree, published between Christmas and the New Year. “When we see that justice is already slow to react, squeaks near Release Allain Bougrain-Dubourg, President of the League for the Protection of Birds (LPO). They got used to it… When they wanted to extend the goose hunt in February, the decree was taken to leave the associations minimum time to react. It is a sorry and inglorious method. And one more gift for hunters… ” The director general of the LPO, Yves Vérilhac, also criticized AFP “An environmental unraveling job” since 2017.

Macron the friend of the triggers? “A hunter, he loves his dog, he loves animals, otherwise he would not go hunting”, had let go of the Head of State during a trip to Haute-Saône, to the Gray SPA, in early October. Since his election, he has stepped up his actions towards hunters: in 2018, the president noted the halving of the price of a hunting license. A decision that will push the former minister of ecological transition, Nicolas Hulot, to slam the door of the government, denouncing the “Presence of lobbies in circles of power”. The chronicle of decrees published on the sly, authorizing traditional hunts particularly criticized by associations, also fed into the five-year term.

“Streamline the administrative process”

“This decree aims to improve the quality of decisions while guaranteeing public participation”, answer to Release, in a convoluted way, the entourage of Bérangère Abba, the Secretary of State in charge of biodiversity. The text published on Sunday would thus be the “Sustainability of an experiment” which associations have never opposed. The government also highlights the public consultations, in force since 2016 and mandatory before each publication of a prefectural decree related to the opening and closing of hunting. A consultation cannot be less than 21 days, “Time limit to which are added at least 4 days for the preparation of the summary of the public consultation by the administration before publication of the decree”, we specify to the ministry. Conclusion as justification: “The prefectural decrees are therefore known at least 25 days before their publication to which are now added 7 days before taking effect. […] which streamlines the administrative process while ensuring information and public participation ”.

Not sure that the argument convinces associations defending biodiversity. Especially since, less than four months before the presidential election, many see it as an electoral maneuver. In Gray, at the beginning of October, Macron had tried to play “at the same time” on the question: “We too often oppose on the one hand associations which fight for the animal cause and on the other the breeders and hunters, who are actors of rurality. We will only advance by reconciling “. It got off to a bad start.

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