BRUSSELS, BELGIUM – A top EU legal adviser said Thursday a French practice of using sticky lime as glue to trap songbirds could be legal if shown to be of “cultural importance”.
Advocate General Juliane Kokott’s advice is not binding on the European Court of Justice, but it will be studied closely by judges before they rule on a query brought by French judicial authorities.
Animal rights organisations argue that spreading birdlime on branches to trap thrushes and blackbirds, a traditional hunting method in parts of southern France, is indiscriminate and cruel.
But, in her finding, Kokott said the practice would not violate the European Union bird protection directive “if the competent French bodies plausibly conclude that the preservation of that regionally widespread traditional hunting method for recreational purposes is of significant cultural importance”.
French hunters in southeast France also trap some birds with adhesives to use as decoys to attract others towards their guns. France’s Council of State has asked European courts for a ruling on whether this infringes EU nature protection rules, as nature lovers argue.
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