Veteran farmer, anti-globalization campaigner and Euro MP José Bové has gone on trial in Poitiers for destroying genetically modified maize in 2008. 

"/> Veteran farmer, anti-globalization campaigner and Euro MP José Bové has gone on trial in Poitiers for destroying genetically modified maize in 2008. 

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FARMING

José Bové in court over destruction of GM crops

Veteran farmer, anti-globalization campaigner and Euro MP José Bové has gone on trial in Poitiers for destroying genetically modified maize in 2008. 

José Bové in court over destruction of GM crops
Guillaume Paumier

The trial is taking place in Poitiers where Bové is facing charges with seven other people. The case centres around the destruction of experimental maize crops in Civaux and Valdivienne, western France, in August 2008.

 

Bové received a boost yesterday in the form of Ségolène Royal, president of the Poitou-Charentes region where the destruction took place. She attended the trial at the request of Bové “as part of the battle the region has waged against GM.”

 

She claimed “these people saved tens of thousands of jobs” as “there are 57 products that are recognized by certain quality guarantees that would have been destroyed by GM crops.”

 

Royal, former Presidential candidate in 2007 and a likely candidate for the Socialist primaries to decide the candidate for next year’s election, denied this was just a photo opportunity. “Stop denigrating our actions” she said to the media. “This is not a communication strategy but a principled fight.”

 

The trial has been adjourned for judgment.

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FARMING

French hunter kills bear that bit him

A 70-year-old hunter killed a bear in southwest France Saturday after it attacked and seriously wounded him, local officials said.

A brown bear is pictured in the semi-wildlife animal park of Les Angles, southwestern France.
Brown bears had nearly disappeared in France until the country began a reintroduction programme, importing them from Slovenia. AFP PHOTO / RAYMOND ROIG

The female bear, who was travelling with her cubs, bit him as he was hunting in the Seix region of Ariege, a source close to the case said.

Rescued by the local gendarmerie, he was transported to the intensive care unit of a hospital in Toulouse with a wound to his leg at the level of his femoral artery, officials at the prefecture in Ariege said.

One source close to the case said he was in a serious condition.

The hunter told local officials he had been out with a group of other hunters on the trail of a boar, when the female bear, who was travelling with her cubs, attacked him.

After being wounded, the hunter shot the bear twice, killing it.

The local gendarme unit was called out to rescue him at around 3:30 pm (1430 GMT). They discovered the body of the bear a few metres from where they had found the hunter.

An investigation has been opened into the incident, the prefecture in Ariege said.

One local official told AFP on Saturday: “This is really what we feared.”

“Today, you can really see that cohabitation is complicated,” said Christine Tequi, president of the Ariege department council.

The brown bear had nearly disappeared in this part of the world when France began a programme of reintroducing them, importing them from Slovenia.

Today, there are around sixty of them in the Pyrenees range, leading to increasing tensions with local farmers, because of the threat they pose to their livestock.

In 2020, three bears were illegally killed in the Pyrenees: two of them in Spain and one in France. The French government has committed to replacing any bear killed by a man.

READ ALSO: The decades-old battle between French farmers and conservationists over bears
READ ALSO: What are the most dangerous animals in France?

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