The government finally rejects the idea of ​​a day without hunting

The government has finally decided: to the chagrin of the anti-hunting camp, there won’t be a day without hunting, but hunters will no longer be able to exercise under the influence of alcohol and will have to exercise more.

A digital program for hikers will be established in the fall to provide better information about hunting areas and times for better sharing of nature.

After months of deliberations, the decisions were presented on Monday by Secretary of State for the Environment Béranger Couillard during a visit to the Loire following a meeting with officials from France’s permit issuers and the French Office for Biodiversity (OFB). hunting police.

The goal: to make the practice safer to move toward zero accidents.

According to OFB, the number of hunting accidents has decreased in the last 20 years. Nevertheless, for the 2021/22 season OFB recorded 90 accidents (bodily injuries related to the use of hunting weapons) compared to 80 in the previous season. Among them, there were eight deaths, including two non-hunting victims.

Again this weekend, an 84-year-old hunter accidentally killed himself in Haute-Corse while keeping his gun in his car.

At the end of October, the Secretary of State stated that the ban on Sundays is “not a taboo subject” and raised the idea of ​​a half-day without hunting at the local and national level.

But this track, which the hunters did not want to hear, was finally ruled out.

“This is an unacceptable disrespect for the 80% of French people who are waiting for a ceasefire,” Allain Bougrain Dubourg, president of the League for the Protection of Birds (LPO), said on Monday.

According to an Ifop poll of 1,000 people conducted in mid-December for various environmental associations, 78% of French were in favor (with a margin of error of 2.5 points).

The report submitted by the senators to the government in September shows that 71% of accidents occurred on weekends, 46% on Sundays, and 25% on Saturdays during the period 2003-2022.

Willy Schraen, head of the hunters, told AFP on Thursday that he could not imagine “one second” of Sunday without hunting, which he believed would leave the village “in fire and blood”.

“We need to share access to nature and this is not just being discussed between Emmanuel Macron and Willy Schraen, who is proud to sit at the open table at the Elysee,” said the new leader of the Greens, Marine Tondelier, on Sunday. .

– Alcohol –

Among selected and hunter consented tracks, the government wants to create a blood alcohol offense for hunters similar to that for motorists, with a maximum limit of 0.5 grams/litre of blood. “Derisory”, despairing of LPO leaders.

The fine will be introduced “at the beginning of 2023”, after which the idea of ​​creating an offense through the legislative text will be introduced.

Sanctions should also be strengthened in the event of a serious accident, especially the possibility of revocation of the hunting license for a certain period with a ban on returning it.

Among the 14 measures of the plan is the generalization of training in practical handling of weapons for all hunters: “By 2025, one out of every two hunters should be trained, and by 2029, all hunters should be trained.”

Organizers of the hunts (about 200,000 people) will be required by the federations to undergo special training “recalling in particular safety rules and communication with local residents”.

Finally, to better inform hikers and other nature users, a digital platform will be set up to identify non-hunting areas and times in the fall, an obligation for collective hunting organizers – knock and run – to announce yourself there.

Nothing that lives up to the hopes of the anti-hunting camp.

“Hunters will no longer have to shoot in any way, in all directions, at anything or anyone, and while drunk… This is the great revolution of 2023!”, Brigitte Bardot, an ardent animal advocate, said in a statement on Monday.

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