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HUNTING

Dog accidentally shoots hunter in France

A hunter suffered gunshot wounds after his dog accidentally fired his rifle on Monday near a small town in southwestern France's Basque Country, officials said.

Dog accidentally shoots hunter in France
Photo: AFP
“The hunter had set his rifle against a tree and went to collect a woodcock he had just shot,” the mayor of Mesplede, Regis Cassaroume, told AFP.
   
Police said the dog apparently knocked the rifle over and managed to trigger the weapon by stepping on it.
 
Local media reported that the dog had been extremely agitated at the time and had repeatedly jumped on the gun, perhaps excited at the fact his master had successfully shot the bird.
   
The hunter, a 61-year-old pensioner, received treatment at a nearby hospital for wounds to a hand and forearm.
 
 
While the hunter was lucky to get away without more serious injuries, there have been a slew of hunting accidents in France since the hunting season began in September. 
 
In October, a walker wearing brown clothes was killed after he was accidentally shot dead by a hunter who mistook him for a deer. 
 
Last year's hunting season claimed the lives of 16 people, many of whom were hunters too. 
  
This year's hunting season closes at the end of February.

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HUNTING

France bans glue trapping of birds after EU court ruling

France's top administrative court said on Monday that glue hunting of birds would be prohibited, revoking exemptions granted by French authorities for a traditional practice that has long been denounced by animal rights campaigners.

France bans glue trapping of birds after EU court ruling
A demonstration of hunters to denounce the ban on glue hunting, in south-west France in 2020. Photo: RAYMOND ROIG / AFP.

The State Council’s move comes after the EU Court of Justice said in March that using so-called glue traps caused “irreparable harm” to the thrushes and blackbirds that are caught.

The birds are then used to lure others to the waiting hunters, who say they are later cleaned of the sticky material, called birdlime, and released. But critics say the technique invariably leads to the capture of a wide variety of birds that are often injured, including having their feathers damaged or torn off.

READ ALSO Chasse à la glu: Why French hunters are taking the streets

France was the last EU member to still authorise the traps with an annual quota of 42,000 birds, mainly in southern France, though President Emmanuel Macron suspended the hunt last August pending the EU court ruling.

Two campaign groups had brought a case against the French environment ministry arguing that the practice constituted animal cruelty.

Activists say that 150,000 birds die annually in France from non-selective hunting techniques such as glue traps and nets at a time when Europe’s bird population is in free-fall.

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