an official petition opposing their “disgusting pursuit” (venery), 30,000 signatures were lost

The Association for the Protection of Wild Animals (Aspas) filed an official petition addressed to the Senate. Its aim: to protect the badger by banning underground hunting (digging with tongs and dogs), a practice considered cruel.

The badger is one of the animals that can be hunted according to the venery method (digging with pliers and using a dog), a “traditional hunting” its critics consider it 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 has real utility. If the level of 100,000 signatures is reached in less than six months (ie before September 30), the Senate will seek to study the question: the institution has the power to propose laws, to launch commission of inquiry or fact-finding missions.

The Association for the Protection of Wild Animals (Aspas) wants to be the advocate of this peaceful mammal, little is known, but nevertheless “amazing”. More and more people want to protect it (now it is a huntable species except, with rare exception, in Bas-Rhin).

In Aube, Jacqueline Gillet has a double role: vice-president of the local League for the Protection of Birds (LPO), and Aspas referent for this department. So in both ways he told France 3 Champagne-Ardenne what the badgers – and the wolves too – are suffering. “The hunters come with dogs, shovels. They dig holes and throw the dogs into them.”

“The badgers are cornered, bitten. If this happens too soon, the young ones die. The hunters then tear the badgers out of their holes with pliers, then throw them to the dogs or kill them with a knife, or even shoot them.”

The underground hunt takes place from September 15 to January 15, according to the Internet page dedicated to it by the National Hunting Federation; which explains and justifies this practice of where to go first “a profound respect for the hunted animal”. Prefectures can extend this legal period at their convenience, usually by advancing it to the beginning of summer: Aspas made an official request to oppose this extension, but the prefect sent the association out to pasture. (“bad opinion”).

But what is that for? “absolutely nothing”song by Jacqueline Gillet. “It’s dirty, despicable, horrible, scary. We always bring the tradition, but the problem with this tradition is that in the past, we were looking for food. Now we’re looking for pleasure: the pleasure of killing , slaughtering everything .badger no damage, 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 railways), it can be avoided.

On the other hand, chasing the badger into its hole in this way can cause other unexpected damage. “It destroys other inhabitants of holes. In general, they are also occupied by wild cats, strictly protected, or bats: they rest there, they are in danger of extinction, and they are strictly protected . “

We are looking for pleasure: the pleasure of killing, of massacring everyone.

Jacqueline Gillet, local referent of Aspas / vice-president of LPO Champagne-Ardenne

Besides its interesting role as a species-engineer (its burrow is sometimes compared to a “HLM underground”), the badger is known to be clean and self-controlled. To notice “that badgers eat rats, these species that spread the ticks that cause Lyme disease. They are not overpopulated. They are also often accused of being a vector of bovine tuberculosis. realized that killing those badgers have not changed the problem. Wild boars and deer, which are more numerous, are also affected, but badgers are blamed.”

In Europe, France is a bad student. “We hope that one day the badger will be protected like many other countries: Italy, Spain, Portugal, [Îles Britanniques]Denmark, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Hungary… That it has not been searched for, like in Greece or the Bas-Rhin, since 2004.” The unique situation of this department of France produces a news that is unusual as it is interesting: a farm prefers to live with the badger that destroys its wheat than to hunt it (see the location on the map below ).

The problem is that if the badger is disturbed in the forest by digging, it will go down to the plain, and there it will make holes and trouble the farmers. The tires of the tractors can be caught in the badger villages, and then there will be destruction of the material. But the farmers are beginning to understand that there is no point in slaughtering them.” The badger is very territorial, it always returns to the charge. Killed, it can easily be replaced by a congener. Can also try to drain the barrel of Danaides.

Aspas is hopeful to see the petition succeed, however “the hunting lobby”. To ensure its validity and stability, the Senate has conditioned the authentication signature through France Connect (the identifier you use to pay your taxes online, for example). In order to fill in the missing signatures before September 30, the LPO will relay the call on the weekend of September 3 and 4. The L214 association will do the same in mid-September: there will be a league -on association committed to the defense of these denied mustelids.

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