MEP and ecologist Yannick Jadot told news service FranceInfo: “This is not a leisure sport; the death of animals cannot be leisure.
“In France, we hunt 64 species. That is two to three times’ more than the rest of Europe. We hunt protected species in a totally illegal way. For example, the Eurasian curlew. Europe [the EU] pays farms in Poland to save the species, and in France, we shoot them.”
Mr Jadot called for a “gradual stoppage of hunting” and said: “Allow us to begin by hunting down all the illegal hunts.”
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He criticised the government for undermining European conventions, and said there had been 13 instances in which the government supreme court Le Conseil d’Etat had made “scandalous exceptions”.
A Eurasian curlew (Photo: Andreas Trepte / CC BY-SA 2.5)
Mr Jadot also called out justice minister Éric Dupond-Moretti, who has recently said he is against bird glue hunting, but, before taking his role in the justice ministry, had written the preface to a book by Willy Shraen, head of French hunting federation, la Fédération des Chasseurs.
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Mr Jadot said: “The least we can expect from the minister for justice is to not write anti-ecological prefaces on a hateful pamphlet by the head of hunting. It is to respect European law.”
Animal welfare and hunting are highly-contested issues in France. Animal rights groups last month called for there to be a dedicated minister for animal welfare, while more than half a million people have signed a high-profile petition calling for a vote to outlaw several practices considered to be cruel to animals.
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