Komitee gegen den Vogelmord e.V. Committee Against Bird Slaughter (CABS)

Komitee gegen den Vogelmord e. V.
Committee Against Bird Slaughter (CABS)

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Supreme Court rulings in France on bird trapping 2021

Limestick in Provence with captured Song Thrush
Limestick in Provence with captured Song Thrush

The EU Birds Directive has banned bird trapping with nets and traps since 1979. Derogations are only possible if they are essential to preserve a tradition.

The hurdles for this are high, however, because the state must ensure that only "small quantities" of birds are caught, that there are sufficient controls and that the catch is selective (i.e. only concerns the species for which the derogation was authorised). Since it is fundamentally questionable what constitutes a "tradition" at all, what is considered "indispensable" for its preservation, since area-wide controls are practically impossible and traps as well as nets basically never really catch birds selectively, these derogations should actually be impossible.

And yet they still exist today. Some countries - such as Malta - simply don't care about EU law and are prepared to confront the EU Commission. Other countries - like France, for example - have expert opinions drawn up to confirm the alleged selectivity of the approved trapping methods. Paris, for example, has simply allowed bird trapping with traps that have actually been banned for decades, such as limesticks, horsehair snares, stone-crush traps and nets. Even though the expert opinions submitted for this were obviously wrong, France has been able to get away with it so far. But that appears to soon be over for good!