Pyrenees: the use of non-lethal shots to scare bears invalidated by the Council of State

The Council of State has canceled the possibility of using scaring shots of brown bears in the Pyrenees, considering that this method is not sufficiently supervised for pregnant females and their cubs.

In a decision rendered on Monday, the Council of State cancels article 4 of the decree of May 31, 2021 allowing the implementation of brown bear scaring measures in the Pyrenees on an experimental basis. He authorized non-lethal shots but without foreseeing “expressly” mechanism “framing the implementation of the reinforced scaring device with females in gestation and in their foals”.

The Council of State, seized by associations, considers that the scaring measures “cannot be sure” that “the derogations likely to be granted on this basis by the prefect do not affect the maintenance of populations concerned in their natural range and do not compromise the improvement of the status of the species”.

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“Simple” scaring measures

On the other hand, it urges to carry out “simple” scaring measures by sound, olfactory or luminous means. They are not “not likely to affect the maintenance of bear populations or to compromise the improvement of the conservation status of the species”, indicates the Council of State in its decision.

These scaring measures were put in place on an experimental basis in 2019 by the government with the aim of prevent herd attacks denounced by the shepherds.

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