France extends migratory bird hunting season
France is again risking the ire of the European Commission by introducing new legislation extending the hunting season for migratory birds by about six weeks, fulfilling a pre-election promise made by prime minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin. The decrees, published in the official journal on 18 July, are widely expected to be declared illegal by France's constitutional court for contravening the 1979 EU wild birds directive - the fate of similar previous attempts to pacify the pro-hunting lobby. The court most recently wielded its power in this area in January (EED 28/01/02). See press release.