Glue hunting made illegal in France, but still sold across the country

By Laura Hannot

Irish hunters from the NARGC expressed their surprise when they heard about bird hunting practices used in France. Hunting birds with glue (lime sticks) is illegal, but glue is still legally sold in hunting shops across France. It was prohibited in August 2022, but an inquiry from the Association Nos Viventia proved they are still used in the name of tradition and passion.

Nos Viventia, a French association created in 2020 by environmental activist Pierre Rigaux, investigated this practice after it was forbidden by the French government. The surprise comes after discovering that French hunting shops still sell the glue and the sticks used for this type of hunt. Deemed to be tradition, French hunters are not ready to let go of this practice.

Lime sticks or hunting with glue

Hunting with glue consists of applying bird lime on tree branches or sticks hidden in bushes. The birds landing on the branch get stuck because of it. Their attempts to free themselves with their beak and wings ends up covering their bodies with glue, making them unable to move. Hunters then come and pick their prize. 

“It’s illegal in Ireland,” says Dan Curley, the Vice Chairman of the NARGC. “It would have never been seen as a hunting pastime.”

“This hunting technique is mainly used in Mediterranean countries,” says Dermot Breen, a ranger at Connemara Park. “It seems to be very popular in random Mediterranean countries, Italy, Tunisia and Cyprus. It’s a huge issue down there, but no, thankfully it’s not really an issue in Ireland.”  

Thrushes only?

Thrushes are supposed to be the main species hunted with this technique. However, if another type of bird comes in contact with the glue, the result is likely the same.

Endangered species, such as the ortolan, might be the victims of lime sticks with the hunter unable to determine which bird will land on the glue stick. 


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