Emmanuel Macron gives pledges to breeders

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In France, the brown bear is protected by an interministerial decree of April 17, 1981 establishing the list of mammals benefiting from a protection measure RAYMOND ROIG / AFP

“There will be no reintroductions of bears in the Pyrenees, I promise you. “ At the end of a meeting with Emmanuel Macron, which lasted one hour, in Pau, Tuesday, January 14, the presidents of the chambers of agriculture of Ariège, Hautes-Pyrénées and Pyrénées-Atlantiques, as well as breeders, smiled when reporting the words of the President of the Republic.

It was “A moment of optimism and social peace”, even suggests Philippe Lacube, president of the Ariège chamber of agriculture, fierce against the presence of the animal in the Pyrenees. “This is the first time in twenty-five years. A President of the Republic who receives us and listens to us very carefully, this is unprecedented “, congratulates Mr. Lacube.

The head of state has not, however, made any really new announcements on this hot file. He only confirmed that after the reintroductions of two Slovenian bears at the end of 2018, Sorita and Claverina, the first for ten years, no other was planned, as specified in the roadmap defined by the government for the period 2018-2028 .

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Increase the presence of elected officials

In France, the brown bear is protected by an interministerial decree of April 17, 1981 establishing the list of mammals benefiting from a protection measure, and especially by the European directive known as “Habitats” of 1992, which forced to maintain an Ursine population viable. There are currently around 40 bears in the Pyrenees, which is far from enough according to animal advocates.

The head of state nevertheless assured that a new mission letter would be sent to the regional prefect within six to eight weeks. According to Mr. Lacube, it would contain two advances: “The possibility for the state to identify violent bears, to be able to follow them to mark and remove them. “ In Ariège, the central nucleus of the bear’s presence, there would be 1,250 dead sheep in 2019, a record, out of the 1,500 cases recorded throughout the massif in the same year.

Emmanuel Macron also promised to review the governance and composition of the restoration plan (2018-2028), by increasing the presence of elected officials on the ground alongside the Regional Directorate for the Environment, Development and Housing ( DREAL), as well as environmental associations. “An increasing representation that we have been asking for for a long time, with people on the ground, far from Paris or Brussels”, specified for his part, at the end of the meeting, Bernard Layre, president of the chamber of agriculture of the Pyrénées-Atlantiques.

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