French battle over bird hunting dates
France's council of state has once again overturned a government bid to extend the hunting season for certain migratory birds, by suspending two recent decrees on the issue. Environment minister Roselyne Bachelot had claimed that a derogation from the 1979 EU birds directive justified a three-week extension to 20 February. But the council has nevertheless annulled the decrees claiming their validity is in "serious doubt", AFP reports. Only in December, the council upheld another interim decision to partially annul decrees imposing wide-ranging extensions to the hunting season (EED 05/08/02). See AFP article.