France is currently facing several court actions for failure to comply fully with the 1979 EU wild birds directive, including one over the length of its bird hunting season (ENDS Daily 18 January). In 1998, the national parliament further extended the season, hugely irritating both environment minister Dominique Voynet and the European Commission.
Conservation groups coordinating the petition to the European Parliament claim it is the most successful ever in Europe on a conservation issue. In addition to over 1.1m signatures in France, it contains 522,000 from the UK, 123,000 from Italy, 122,000 from Belgium, 46,000 from Germany and 30,000 from Switzerland, plus smaller numbers from over 18 other countries.
League for the Protection of Birds, tel: +33 5 46 82 12 34.
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