June 25, 2009

France Under Scrutiny For Neglecting Hamster

On Thursday an official said that the European Commission is taking France to Europe's highest court for not protecting the great hamster of Alsace, a species threatened by extinction.

The official said that French authorities refused to partake in all the approaches necessary in protecting the hamster, which is also known as the European Hamster.

The small mammal, which is apart of the rodent species, requires about 600,000 acres of protected land to thrive.  However, France only allocated about 8,600 acres in the eastern part of the country, greatly reducing its food supply.

The hamster use to be considered a pest by farmers in the Alsace region, but since 1993 it has been protected and is considered one of the most threatened mammals in the European Continent.

In just six years between 2001 and 2007, the number of the hamsters dropped from 1,000 to just 200.  The numbers have continued to fall for the last two years.

The official, who is linked to the proceedings but asked to not be known, said that the commission is taking the action at the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg.  The goal of the commission is to force France to take action to save the hamster.