Thursday 31 August 2023 | 3

Deaths, deaths, and more deaths: the dramatic track record of hunting in France

Deaths, deaths, and more deaths: the dramatic track record of hunting in France

Mis à jour le 22 November 2023

45 million animals killed, 78 accidents and 6 human deaths. These are the numbers from the 2022-2023 hunting season. Year after year, the report is the same: this hobby kills, and public powers have decided to do nothing. While biodiversity is disappearing before our eyes and wildlife is being privatised by a small group of armed individuals, it is no longer time for trivial measures but for a radical reform of hunting!

Hr blog

On 2 December 2020, Morgan Keane, 25 years old, was killed by a bullet while he was chopping wood on his own land. While this unintentional homicide could have remained confined to the pages of a newspaper, the tenacity of the young man’s loved ones allowed the shooter and the person leading the hunt to be convicted, in a proceeding which One Voice was part of and supported. But for this one conviction, how many cases were buried? Far from being anecdotal, this tragedy is symptomatic of a deadly activity for humans, animals, and wildlife, and reveals a total lack of will from public powers to oppose individuals who impose their rules on everyone else.

Hunting: a questionable hobby that leads to death

Every year, almost 45 million wild animals are killed in cold blood. More than ever, they are being attacked from all sides, from repeated administrative battles to exemptions to be able to dig out badgers outside of the hunting season, via classifying ‘species likely to cause damage’ allowing numerous species to be killed all year round and without any restrictions... And let’s not forget pet animals, victims of all of the traps that are strewn across the soil of our countryside, and sometimes killed in front of their owners for disturbing hunters in pursuit of their bloody hobby.

Animals are not the only victims: six people have lost their lives this year. As for representatives from the hunting world, they display a strange satisfaction and congratulate themselves on these six deaths, even though they were all hunters... These deaths add to the many that have hit the headlines in recent years, from the British cyclist killed in Haute-Savoie to this 25 year-old walker victim of a young 17 year-old woman, or even to Joël Viard, killed by a bullet while he was driving his car.

So many lives taken so that a handful of individuals can have fun killing!

Trivial measures and patch-up jobs: what are the government playing at?

Faced with this catastrophic situation, we had hoped for the beginnings of progress, after our hearing by the senatorial mission on securing hunting and the success of the petition launched by the Un Jour Un Chasseur [One Day One Hunter] Collective. But the government, once again, played for time and proposed trivial measures well below what is expected of them to cope with the scale of the disaster.

Today, hunters’ training is a true sham, as our investigation revealed regarding the licensing process, and hunters continue to do everything they can to fight against common sense proposals to limit or even eradicate risking human deaths, such as annual eye tests, or a ban on hunting at the weekends and during summer holidays. And the government dares to present blood alcohol limits as a step forward, which should have been put in place decades ago!

A hobby that shames ecology...

The refusal to tackle security deficiencies head-on is more proof, if it were needed, of the omnipotence of this lobby which is favoured by the Head of State, who proudly posed in front of a hunting painting in Chambord for his fortieth birthday. Hard to be shocked when Thierry Coste himself admits to practising “frantic, assertive lobbying[...] without the slightest restraint”. And what can we say about these hunting representatives, oscillating between climate scepticism (for a long time and reiterating their dubious theories very recently through Willy Schraen, current President of the Fédération nationale des chasseurs [National Federation of Hunters]) and excitement at the idea of killing animals (for their predecessor)? They even have a permanent platform to carry out their deadly ideology…

While 87% of French people believe that hunting poses safety issues (IPSOS/One Voice survey, September 2022), as the countless deaths every year attest to, it is about time we tackle the cause of this mortal danger, and urgently demand a radical reform of hunting again and again!

Translated from the French by Joely Justice

Maxime Lambret
Hr blog

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Comments 3

I accept that publication of my comments is subject to the code of conduct.

Mimi pinson | Thursday 14 September 2023

La pratique de la chasse n’est-elle pas un délit d’ecocide ?

Alexandre | Thursday 31 August 2023

Chasseurs = électorat de 1 million de personnes. Voilà pourquoi aucun gouvernement n'a le courage et l'honnêteté de bouger.

trochu | Thursday 31 August 2023

A nouveau une évidence, la chasse n'est pas que meurtrière pour les animaux elle l'est également pour les humains qui se promènent, qui sont dans leurs jardins ou autre et les chasseurs n'ont aucun scrupule à se rapprocher toujours davantage des lieux d'habitation et très souvent, n'hésitent pas à tirer sur tout ce qui bouge, l'essentiel pour eux étant de pouvoir tuer et tuer des animaux. La chasse n'est qu'une horreur absolue et en premier pour les animaux qui n'ont aucune chance de s'en sortir vu tout l'attirail et le nombre de chasseurs sans parler des miradors qu'ils installent de plus en plus nombreux jusque dans les champs. La chasse doit être dénoncée et interdite tout simplement.