Hunt­ing of curlews sus­pended in France

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On 27 Au­gust, in a sur­prise an­nounce­ment, the French Coun­cil of State ruled that no curlew could be shot in France, sus­pend­ing hunt­ing with im­me­di­ate ef­fect.

The news fol­lowed the French gov­ern­ment’s de­ci­sion at the end of July that up to 6,000 curlews could be hunted dur­ing the up­com­ing sea­son, run­ning from Au­gust to late Jan­uary.

In re­sponse to the ini­tial de­cree, Dr James Robin­son, di­rec­tor of con­ser­va­tion for the Wild­fowl and Wet­lands Trust, said: “This de­ci­sion goes against the rec­om­men­da­tions of its own ex­pert com­mit­tee and is also in di­rect con­tra­ven­tion to its obli­ga­tions un­der the AfricanEur­asian Mi­gra­tory Water­bird Agree­ment.”

The U-turn has been wel­comed by a num­ber of wildlife char­i­ties and or­gan­i­sa­tions, many of whom wrote to the French Gov­ern­ment, ex­press­ing their concern.

The curlew pop­u­la­tion has dra­mat­i­cally de­clined over the past 20 years through­out Eu­rope, due to pres­sure from in­ten­sive agri­cul­tural prac­tices and pre­da­tion. It is now a Red Listed species in the UK and some curlews breed­ing in south­ern Eng­land over­win­ter in France. Mary Col­well

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