The badgers will be able to spend the summer in peace

Justice for the badgers. The “Meles meles” of the Somme have just won a three-month reprieve in court thanks to the action taken by two associations before the administrative court of Amiens. A decision modeled in all respects on that taken, mid-June, by the judge in chambers of Toulouse after an appeal from animal rights defenders.

The badger is not, or no longer, classified among the harmful species, no offense to hunters for whom such a status would facilitate the task. On the other hand, the animal remains considered as game that can therefore be hunted. And as the badger lives in burrows, it is the subject of a hunt called “underground hunting” as is also the case for foxes.

Victories for badgers in several departments

In the Somme, as everywhere else, hunting periods are regulated by prefectural order. The decree governing the 2021-2022 hunting period included a statement authorizing underground hunting during an additional period from June 15 to September 17. This is what ASPAS and Aves, two animal defense associations, have denounced. They put in particular two arguments that the judge retained to make his decision: the dynamics of slow reproduction of the badgers and the absence of reason which would justify granting an additional period of hunting.

For the associations, continuing to authorize badger hunting in France is all the more absurd since this animal is protected in many European countries. The situation could nevertheless change since justice has ruled in favor of the badger in several French departments, in particular in Haute-Garonne, Charente, Ille-et-Vilaine, Corrèze or even in the Ardennes.

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