State removes polecat from “pests” list

Adorable yet unloved, the polecat has finally been removed from the list of so-called “harmful” species. A decision ratified by a decision published in the Official Gazette on 14 May. For animal rights defenders, this is a well-deserved victory after years of mobilization.

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In 2019, Pierre Rigaux defended the polecat, a species in decline, on the ASPAS website (the Society for the Protection of Wild Animals), describing it as a “predator abused by humans for a long time”† His bad reputation paints him as a predator in a hen house, a pest that would prey on the broods of partridges… However, the animal rights defender recalls, the skunk feeds mainly on small rodents (field mice, voles, rats, etc.) ), amphibians (frogs, toads) and rabbits.

Between the metamorphosis of the countryside (disappearance of hedges and wetlands), urbanization, capture and hunting, the polecat population has been declining steadily since the 1970s. It is high time to react.

Thanks to the mobilization of associations such as ASPAS, the fishing practice, which is still allowed in the Pas-de-Calais and Loire Atlantique departments, was finally banned by the Council of State in July 2021. In line with this decision, the State has decided to remove the polecat from the list of “pests” by means of a decision that was published in the Official Gazette on 14 May.

But the little carnivore is not off the hook. The polecat does indeed remain “wild”, so it can be shot completely legally for the entire next hunting season. To save the polecat, it is not enough to remove it from the list of pests, it must be given protected species status, ASPAS says.

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