The Association for the Protection of Wild Animals (Aspa) has filed an official request addressed to the Senate. His goal: to protect the badger by banning underground hunting (digging with pliers and dogs), a practice considered cruel.
The badger is one of the animals that can be hunted according to the manner of venus (digging with pliers and with a dog), a “traditional hunting” regarded by his detractors as cruel. An associative petition officially addressed to the Senate wants to ban this practice; 30,000 signatures are missing.
Published on March 30, 2022, this petition is of real use. If the level of 100,000 signatures is reached in less than six months (ie before 30 September), the Senate undertakes to investigate the issue: the body has the power to propose laws, to initiate commissions of inquiry or fact-finding missions.
The Association for the Protection of Wild Animals (Aspa) wants to be the spokesperson for this peaceful mammal, little known, but nevertheless “extraordinary” (he is also the Hufflepuff totem animal in Harry Potter). More and more people want to protect it (it is currently a huntable species except, notable exception, in the Lower Rhine).
In Aube, Jacqueline Gillet has a double role: vice president of the local League for the Protection of Birds (LPO) and Aspas contact person for this department. It is therefore in two ways that you tell France 3 Champagne-Ardenne what badgers suffer – and also foxes. “The hunters come with dogs, shovels. They dig holes and throw dogs in.”
“Badgers are cornered, they are bitten. If this happens too soon, the juveniles are killed. The hunters then snatch the badgers from their burrows with pliers, then throw them at the dogs or kill them with knives, or even shoot them. They”.
Underground hunting takes place from 15 September to 15 January, according to the Internet page dedicated to it by the National Hunting Federation; which explains and justifies this practice where it would take precedence “a deep respect for the hunted animal”. The prefectures can extend this legal duration as they wish, generally anticipating it at the beginning of the summer: Aspas has made an official request to oppose this extension, but the prefect has sent the association to pasture (“unfavorable opinion”).
But what is it for? “For nothing”sings Jacqueline Gillet. “It is dirty, despicable, horrible, terrible. We always bring back the tradition, but the problem with this tradition is that in the past we hunted for food. Now we go hunting for pleasure: the pleasure of killing, butchering everything. While the badger does no harm. , there is no declaration [allant dans ce sens]. ” If there is damage (reported by the Association française de vénerie, in the fields or on the embankments of the tracks), it is avoidable for the SNCF.
On the other hand, chasing the badger into its lair in this way would cause other unsuspected damage. “It will destroy the other den inhabitants. They are usually also occupied by wild cats, strictly protected, or bats: they rest there, are in danger of extinction and are strictly protected.”
We go hunting for pleasure: the pleasure of killing, of massacring everything.Jacqueline Gillet, Aspas local contact person / vice president of LPO Champagne-Ardenne
In addition to its fascinating role as a species engineer (its lair is sometimes compared to a “Underground HLM”), the rate is known to be clean and self-regulating. To notice “That badgers will eat mice, these species that spread Lyme disease-causing ticks. They are not overpopulated. They are also often accused of being a vector of bovine tuberculosis. But it’s the other way around.” It’s the cows that transmit them. We realized that killing badgers did not change the problem. Wild boars and deer, which are much more present, are also affected, but the badgers are to blame. “
In Europe, France is a bad student. “We hope that one day the rate will be protected as in many other countries: Italy, Spain, Portugal, [Îles Britanniques]Denmark, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Hungary … which has not been hunted, as in Greece or the Lower Rhine, since 2004. “ The unique situation of this department in France gave rise to news as unusual as it was interesting: a farm preferred to live with the badger damaging its grain rather than hunting it (see location in the map below).
“The problem is that when the badger is disturbed in the forest by digging it, it will descend to the plains, and that’s where it will make holes and annoy the farmers. Tractor wheels can get caught in badger villages and thus material breaks occur. But the peasants are beginning to understand that there is no point in slaughtering them “. The rate being very territorial, will always return to the charge. Killed, he will soon be replaced by a congener. We might as well try to empty the barrel of the Danaides.
Aspas hopes to see the petition succeed, though “the hunting lobby”. To ensure its validity and rigor, the Senate conditions the signature to authentication via France Connect (the identifier you use to pay taxes online, for example). To fill in missing signatures before September 30, the LPO will broadcast the call over the weekend of September 3 and 4. The L214 association will do the same in mid-September: there is a strong associative commitment to defend these much maligned mustelids.