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ASPAS: Guardian of Wildlife-people and Biodiversity, Part 1 of 2

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ASPAS, or the “Association for the Protection of Wild Animals,” is a non-profit entity based in southern France that was established in 1980. We had the honor to interview Madline Rubin, the director of ASPAS, about the organization. “I have been the director of ASPAS for 16 years. The association is 40 years old, and since the beginning, it has chosen not to receive any government funding. It runs only with private donations and membership of its members, private donors, and it fights to preserve wildlife, both the animals and their habitat.”

The organization has conducted awareness campaigns to mobilize public opinion on safeguarding flora and fauna. At the same time, it seeks to persuade government officials and lawmakers to protect the natural environment and animal-people. Since 2014, it has been purchasing land in France and creating nature reserves, with 1,224 hectares preserved thus far. “We buy territories and we say: ‘In these areas, there will be no hunting allowed, there will be no fishing, no logging.’ In fact, we will reduce the human impact, letting people walk around, of course, But we try to leave these zones free to evolve, to preserve as much biodiversity as possible.”

Penned hunting involves wild animal-people who are trapped within enclosures. The targeted “game” are raised to be shot and confined within a few hectares, having nowhere to flee. ASPAS was the first association in France to denounce this way of hunting. The charity has created a petition that requests an end to the horrific practice of penned hunting. It is addressed to the president of France, His Excellency Emmanuel Macron and other high officials.

“In France, they have French game species or even exotic species that are introduced just for these hunts.” “These exotic species, if they are released into the natural environment, if we remove the fences, they will end up with our indigenous species. And they will breed together. They will mix. And that will create genetic pollution, which is forbidden.”

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