Pigeon hunting: the One Voice association dismissed by the Toulouse administrative court

One Voice’s appeal was dismissed. (©Wikimedia Commons)

One Voice was dismissed. The NGO (non-governmental organization) specializing in the protection of animals had taken legal action to suspend two decrees issued by the prefect in Haute-Garonne approving the wood pigeon hunting management plan and fixing in particular gray partridge samplesand an order issued by the prefect of Ariège fixing the samples of mountain galliforms.

The prefecture, “registration chamber for the wishes of hunters”

With regard to wood pigeon hunting, the association denounced the fact that wood pigeons (or wood pigeons) “are hunted in Haute-Garonne… out of habit”; In Toulouse, the prefecture is gettingchamber for registering the wishes of huntersagainst the protections of birds put in place and also against the European directive called “birds””, lamented at the beginning of the week One Voice in a press release.

“The protected status of wood pigeons in various texts requires a multitude of elements to be justified in order to authorize their hunting. The management plan approved by the decree does none of this and is content to state that wood pigeon hunting must be maintained because of a tradition that would exist in the region. In other words: the existence of this hunt justifies its perpetuation. Absurd. We have authorized that it is urgent to suspend this decree because the hunting season for pigeons is already open, and each life lost represents an attack on the species”.

A voice

Regarding the other two arrested, the NGO considered that ” the vulnerability of the species (grey partridges, editor’s note) and the lack of exact knowledge of its numbers Coupled with the fact that hunting irreparably affects the conservation status of the species makes it possible to prove the urgency of suspending these decrees”

Pigeon hunting: One Voice dismissed

On Friday October 21, 2022, the administrative court nevertheless dismissed One Voice’s three applications for interim relief.

“With regard to wood pigeon hunting, the judge in chambers revealed that the decree of August 31, 2022, amended on September 8, 2022, was not intended to authorize acts of hunting, but on the contrary to wood pigeon hunting using the sole method of “shooting on the ground” for certain municipalities in the department, in order to maintain the traditional character of hunting in the wood pigeon during the postnuptial migration of the wood pigeon. Consequently, this decree does not contradict the interests that the One Voice association intends to defend and the association is therefore devoid of interest in acting”, writes the administrative court of Toulouse.

Hunting “not likely to compromise the conservation of the species”

With regard to the gray partridge of the mountains in Haute-Garonne, “the judge in chambers considered that, in the state of the file, the pleas based on the ignorance of Articles 2 and 7 of Directive 2009/147/EC of November 30, 2009 known as the “birds directive” and articles L. 420-1 and L. 425-14 of the environment code were not likely to give rise to serious doubts about the legality of the decree of September 22, 2022 In effect, the gray partridge population in Haute-Garonne is well studied and growing. The hunting of the gray partridge remains subject to quotas and, given the sedentary behavior of the bird, the absence of sectorization of the takings or of maximum threshold of takings was not likely to compromise the conservation of the species “, justify the administrative court.

Galliformes: the suspension of the decree “not justified”

Finally, concerning the samples of mountain galliformes in Ariège set by an order of October 1, 2022, “on the date of the judgment, only two hunting days on October 22 and 23 are still possible. While since the opening of the hunt on October 1, around 200 gray partridges have been shot, the fifty birds likely to be taken on October 22 and 23, 2022 do not constitute not a serious threat to the conservation of the species whose number is about 6,500 mature individuals in the Pyrenean massif. Thus the urgency to suspend this decree is not justified”, writes the administrative court.

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Which specifies: “The court remains seized of the legality of the three prefectural decrees attacked, which will be examined by a collegiate formation of this court”.

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