A recent Facebook post by the Lebanese Hunting Club, dated 10 January but subsequently erased, used horrifying images to advertise hunting trips in Tunisia. However, while they shocked the internet, the carnage they depict is currently legal in the country.
Widely shared by conservation organisations and activists, the graphic invitation for tourists to slaughter excessive numbers of birds in Tunisia provoked wholesale indignation and disgust, who are calling on the country's authorities to eradicate these barbaric but apparently lawful practices.
Tourist hunters in Tunisia are permitted to kill Wild Boar, Golden Jackals, Foxes, mongooses and Genets as well as numerous bird species. To do so, they need only apply to a Tunisian travel agency to organise a hunting trip. They are then provided with a hunting licence (valid for seven days and renewable) and a specialised guide. Depending on the game they target, hunters may also pay a fee to the Tunisian state, which can range from 1,000-2,000 dinars (€ 336-672) per hunter, depending on the time and duration of the trip. Each hunter is also allowed to bring 350 rounds of ammunition.
No quota is set for the killing of thrushes or Common Starlings. In fact, this is the case for more than 30 bird species in Tunisia which are considered legally huntable. The exceptions to this rule are Barbary Partridge and sandgrouse species – for these, each hunter is limited to six and 10 kills per day respectively.