For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel's sake. The great affair is to move. ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON

Sunday, 30 December 2007

Birdcatchers

France has an estimated 1.3 million hunters - more than any other EU country, though the number reduces annually. The trapping, shooting and eating of wild birds is widespread. 64 species can be hunted legally (again this is more than any other EU country). Much illegal hunting goes on. There are illegal tendelle traps in which thrushes and many protected species are crushed to death with a large stone after taking bait; and robins are caught in pièges a machoire, which are traps with teeth. The ortolan bunting (see pic) is eaten as a delicacy in south-west France - tens of thousands are trapped each year.

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