The requirements of Council Directive 2009/147/EC on the conservation of wild birds with respect to the management of hunting have been the subject of controversy in different Member States. The Commission has therefore identified the need to provide clear guidance on how Member States should be reflecting the principles laid down in the directive in their national measures for regulating hunting.
This initiative started with the compilation, in association with the ORNIS Committee (comprised of national delegates from Member States) and key stakeholder groups, of best available information on reproduction and pre-nuptial migration periods for huntable species. The result of this evaluation, ‘Key concepts of Article 7(4) of the Birds Directive, is available on DG Environments web site.
Building on this common understanding this present guidance document on hunting aims to provide clarity on the different requirements and provisions of the Birds Directive relating to the practice of hunting.
It has been prepared through a constructive dialogue involving Member States and key stakeholders. A working group was established to assist the Commission in this exercise (involving Federation of Associations for Hunting and Conservation of the EU - FACE, BirdLife International and experts nominated by six Member States).
The guide is intended to be bound by and faithful to the text of the Directive and the wider principles underpinning Community environmental law. It is not legislative in character (not making new rules but providing guidance on the application of those that exist). As such this document reflects only the views of the Commission services and is not of a binding nature.
It should be stressed that it rests with the EU Court of Justice to provide definitive interpretation of a Directive. Therefore, the guidance provided will need to evolve in line with any emerging jurisprudence on this subject.
In light of recent important judgements of the Court of Justice relevant to hunting under the Birds Directive (Cases C-79/03, C-344/03, C-135/04, C-60/05) it is decided to proceed with an update of the guide. The necessary amendments will be made to the text of this guide to fully reflect the latest jurisprudence on the subject. The updated Guide will then be translated into 22 languages.
Guidance document on hunting:
"The original text is in English and therefore it is the authentic language version."