Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1 - WHAT IS THIS NEW CAMPAIGN ABOUT?

This European-wide campaign provides a platform for hunters to call on the EU’s main decision-making institutions to work with us for nature conservation and the future of hunting. It includes a 9-point petition that demands change in key topics related to hunting and conservation. The campaign is a response to the increasing number of problems for Europe’s hunters which “come from Brussels”. This campaign aims to highlight and solve these problems, to move away from a trend in finding fault with hunting, to one which recognises its value for biodiversity and uniting cultures across Europe.

2 - WHAT IS FACE?

FACE is the voice of Europe’s 7,000,000 hunters in Brussels. FACE Members are Europe’s national hunting associations in 37 countries including the EU-27. As an international NGO, FACE promotes hunting and conservation by engaging in policymaking, advocating that decision-making is evidence-based and that the principals of subsidiarity and proportionality are respected so that legislation is fit for purpose. Together with its partners, FACE works on a range of topics with the aim of sustaining hunting and conservation across Europe. FACE is a long-standing member of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and acts a co-secretariat to a large intergroup in the European Parliament “Biodiversity, Hunting, Countryside”. Its headquarters are in Brussels with 14 staff.

3 - WHY IS THIS CAMPAIGN HAPPENING NOW?

Europe is failing to successfully restore nature and while many good solutions are coming from Brussels, unfortunately some decisions are creating unnecessary problems for Europe’s hunters. Importantly, FACE Members perceive that there has been an increasing trend towards seeing hunting and hunters as part of the problem, rather than as the solution for nature conservation. Some examples include:

  • At the European level, hunting has  been incorrectly portrayed as being one of the greatest pressures on nature despite evidence to the contrary (link).
  • Ongoing attempts to restrict bird hunting based on the precautionary principle and legal infringements.
  • There are increasing restrictions on the sustainable management of large carnivores by hunters (e.g. link).

A major objective of the EU is to make laws better and simpler. They should be based on evidence and involve citizens and stakeholders in the decision-making process. Two recent examples of when the EU has fallen short of respecting these principles:

  • The Commission Regulation under REACH on banning lead shot in or around wetlands could have gained broad support, but unfortunately it was only adopted by a slim majority. Not because of the principle of phasing out lead shot in wetlands, which was supported by FACE, but because it was a poor legislative proposal unlike any other under the REACH Regulation.  It created polarisation and wide uncertainty due to its scope and definitions, all of which could have been avoided.
  • The initial drafts of the Commission guidance on protected areas unreasonably proposed to ban hunting in a new category of protected areas in Europe covering 10% of EU land (link) without evidence that it is necessary for meeting biodiversity targets. Thankfully, in this case, the consultation with Member State experts and stakeholders resulted in a better text.
4 - WHAT ARE THE CAMPAIGN GOALS?

European biodiversity policies should deliver for nature conservation while recognising the positive socio-economic and conservation role of the hunting community.

More specifically, the European institutions, in particular, the European Commission should:

  • Have a more objective view of hunting and conservation and respect subsidiarity in view of the diversity of hunting traditions in Europe.
  • Fully understand that hunting is an integral part of European cultural diversity and a vital tool for nature conservation and wildlife management.
5 - HOW WILL THE CAMPAIGN ACHIEVE THIS?

Brussels is interested in listening to civil society, and this campaign does exactly that through:

  • Gathering signatures from hunters to support the campaign demands
  • Advocacy in policy related to hunting and conservation in Brussels.
6 - WHY HAVE AN OUTWARD-FACING CAMPAIGN?

An outward facing campaign allows hunters, which are directly affected by Brussels decision-making to express themselves by signing a petition. Many international NGOs campaign at the grass-roots level, but this is the first of its kind for Europe’s hunters. This campaign will also support the work of Europe’s national hunting associations towards a stronger future for hunting and conservation.

7 - WHAT IS THE CALL TO ACTION?

The petition has nine demands, all of which are important for hunting, conservation and wildlife management in Europe. Some demands may be less obvious, but when hunters’ activities are stopped, the outcome is often negative for conservation.

8 - WHY IS NATURE CONSERVATION SUCH A STRONG PART OF THE CAMPAIGN?

We should never forget that hunters put back into nature more than they take. Hunters know first-hand how important biodiversity is and how much has been lost in recent decades. The strong call for nature conservation is core to FACE’s policy to prevent major consequences for wildlife, society and the climate.  The direct consequences of biodiversity loss for hunters include the collapse of wild small game populations and increasing animal health problems. The EU has important legislation for nature conservation in place, but better implementation is required that incentivise local communities.

9 - WHAT DO YOU MEAN ABOUT A MORE OBJECTIVE APPROACH TO HUNTING?

Hunters are leading efforts to bring back sedentary species (e.g., grouse, partridge) as well as migratory waterbirds and land birds such as the Turtle Dove. Numerous examples of such efforts are documented on www.biodiversitymanifesto.com The Turtle Dove deserves a special mention as it forms a core part of FACE’s demand in point 4 (link). The European Commission opened legal infringements against France and Spain effectively stopping all hunting in the western flyway. In contrast to other European countries where the species has almost disappeared and where there were few, if any, conservation efforts for the Turtle Dove undertaken over recent decades, France and Spain still hold good numbers of the species and engage in its conservation. Therefore, this move from the Commission is deemed to be unjustified by FACE Members. They perceive the motivation for these infringements is biased towards hunting rather than on the declining trends in national populations and related conservation efforts.

What’s more, where hunting of Turtle Dove takes place there are long-standing conservation efforts made by the hunting community to manage and safeguard suitable habitats for the species, bringing many benefits. Whether it be the impressive number of hedges planted in France (link) or the seeding of thousands of hectares per year with various crops left unharvested in Greece (link), the hunting community has been actively implementing and financing on its own many other management actions benefiting the Turtle Dove.

10 - WHO IS FINANCING THIS CAMPAIGN?

This campaign is mainly financed by FACE’s European Hunting Foundation, which was established to build a strong future for hunting and conservation. FACE Members are also contributing. Hunters continuing to pay their membership fee to their national hunting organisations will also indirectly support this campaign.

11 - HOW CAN I SUPPORT THE CAMPAIGN?
  • Sign the petition, and forward to your family and friends.
  • Donate so we can drive the campaign forward.
12 - HOW WILL THE CAMPAIGN DEVELOP?

The campaign has been launched on the 27th of May and has a duration of 6 months until the 25th of April, 2023. The campaign will develop through communications at the local, regional, national and international levels.

ABOUT FACE

FACE is the Voice of European Hunters

The European Federation for Hunting and Conservation (FACE), which represents the interests of Europe’s 7 million hunters, is running this campaign.

FACE is the largest democratically representative body for hunters in the world and one of the largest European civil society organisations.

FACE is made up of its Members: National hunters’ associations from 37 European countries including the EU-27. FACE also has 7 Associate Members.

FACE – Rue Belliard 205 – 1040, Bruxelles
info@face.eu – www.face.eu