The French Government has decided that up to 6,000 Eurasian Curlew - a species in rapid decline across the UK and Europe - can be hunted in France.

Dismissing expert advice, including recommendations from their own committee (Comité d’Experts sur la Gestion Adaptative), the French Government will not renew a moratorium suspending the hunting of the threatened wader, which expired on 31 July.

Their decision is also in contravention to its obligations under the African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbird Agreement (AEWA).

Eurasian Curlew, Danby Beacon, North Yorkshire (Damian Money)

WWT recently wrote to the Environment Minister (Minister of the Ecological and Solidary Transition) Élisabeth Borne advising that there is insufficient scientific evidence to indicate how Eurasian Curlew, recently dubbed the 'panda of UK conservation', can be hunted sustainably.

James Robinson, Director of Conservation at WWT, said: "We are very disappointed to hear that the French government has decided that up to 6,000 Eurasian Curlew can be hunted in France during the upcoming season, which begins on August 3.

"Given that this decision goes against the recommendations of the French government's own expert committee and is also in direct contravention to its obligations under the African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbird Agreement (AEWA), we cannot accept this decision and will therefore continue to challenge it.

"We believe this decision is an entirely political one that defies accepted best practice and the biological reality of Europe's declining curlew population. While we do not deny the rights of French hunters to hunt, we passionately believe this must be done sustainably and in accordance with international laws and agreements designed to protect biodiversity.

"Regrettably, this is not the case with curlew hunting in France."

Eurasian Curlew is now classed as a Priority Species in the UK and were added to the Red List in 2015.

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