“Seeing wild animals enriches man”

For species that have disappeared, it is absolutely irreversible. But for others, it’s not too late to act. On the other hand, if we do nothing, the disappearances will accelerate. At the same time, new species are continuing to be discovered, especially among insects.

What are the most endangered species in the world?

In all types of animals there are risks: In vertebrates, mammals, fish, insects … Let us mention the Asian elephant, orangutan, tuna …

For species that have disappeared, it is absolutely irreversible. But for others, it’s not too late to act. On the other hand, if we do nothing, the disappearances will accelerate. At the same time, new species are continuing to be discovered, especially among insects.

What are the most endangered species in the world?

In all types of animals there are risks: In vertebrates, mammals, fish, insects … Let us mention the Asian elephant, the orangutan, the southern common tuna, the puffin monk. When I drove, my windshield was smeared with dead insects, today, no. But when the insects disappear, it’s the birds’ turn. It is an entire life chain that is being questioned.

Should we fear a domino effect?

Yes. If the frogs disappear, the storks can no longer feed. These food chains have consistency.

In France, certain species, such as breeding birds, are also threatened with extinction. No more shrines?

There are shrines in France with the national and regional nature parks. But such spaces do not absolutely protect a species. If mammals can be happy with it, this is not the case for migratory birds.

Behind this hecatomb is the human hand. Is this still the greatest danger to the animal world?

Yes. Humans are the most widespread species, and no animal has had such an influence.

To this human pressure comes global warming. Is it the double punishment that threatens and promises other extinctions?

Yes. But we have a great chance: the man is intelligent. He has scientific knowledge. We thus have a climate COP, a biodiversity COP, that is action at the global level to act. And at the same time, there is a collective public pressure in favor of biodiversity and for people to respect nature. I’m pretty optimistic.

The fund you run defends wildlife. But what is your view on hunting?

I’m not a hunter. The ambition of the foundation is not to put an end to the hunt. Our goal is to have an effective and respected regulation of hunting.

On October 25, the judge in the cabinet chambers suspended the government decrees that re-authorized certain traditional bird hunts. Are you happy about that?

Yes. On the hunt one can carry two critical natures. The first concerns biodiversity and the survival of species: that is what Europe regulates. And that is the basis of this decision of the Council of State. We are facing non-selective hunts which reach endangered birds and which are not allowed in Europe. I would add that there are authorized species that are also endangered, which is why we like to see them also protected (vibe, high larch). The second concerns certain cruel hunting methods, such as trapping. Hunting with dogs is also a greater source of pain and stress for animals than traditional gun hunting. To be clear, not all hunts are the same.

Are you making a political reading of this government decision to allow these traditional hunts back?

Politicians tend to believe that antagonizing hunters has major political costs. However, sensitivity to the condition of animals is increasing and the political balance on this issue is changing. On the other hand, the hunting lobby is more efficient than that of animal rights defenders. However, it is in everyone’s interest to talk together and find a balance point. It is in the interest of the hunters. Any community that does not take into account the development of opinion creates problems for itself.

What do you say to breeders facing the reintroduction of wolves and bears?

We are not going to change France with 20,000 wolves and 500 bears in the wild. I understand breeders. It is a complex subject. Again, there is a balance to be found.

You condemn the inconsistencies in animal rights. Explain to us?

There are rules that prohibit practices that compromise biodiversity. In France, in the 1970s, all mistreatment of animals in human care was banned. On the other hand, nothing sanctions acts of unjustified cruelty against wildlife in the wild. I do not make the difference between a wild rabbit and a domestic rabbit. They both have the same ability to suffer. The idea that one can be tortured and the other not, is problematic.

In France, the presentation of wild animals in traveling circuses will be gradually banned. Do you approve?

Yes. In a traveling circus, the animals are in narrow cages. It is not living conditions that respect animal welfare. If all Circassians do not have wild animals, it is obvious to me that there are necessary delays for them to adapt.

How can one be aware of the fate of wild animals without seeing them?

I can hardly imagine a world where only children whose parents can finance travel to the great African parks will be able to see a lion or an elephant. Therefore, I do not condemn zoos in general. It is important that we see the animals. Seeing animals enriches man.

A symposium at the Sorbonne

Led by Louis Schweitzer, the former head of Renault, the Fondation Droit Animal Ethique & Sciences is organizing a symposium on Tuesday, November 16, at the Sorbonne in Paris, dedicated to the defense of wildlife in the wild. Several personalities are expected, including Gilles Bœuf, former president of the National Museum of Natural History, and Jean-Marc Landry, an ethologist specializing in the human-wolf relationship. Barbara Pompili, Minister of Ecological Transformation, concludes this day.

Leave a Comment