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Boy killed by his grandfather on opening day of France's hunting season

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Boy killed by his grandfather on opening day of France's hunting season
Photo: AFP
11:35 CEST+02:00
The opening of the hunting season in France was marred on Sunday when a 13-year-old boy was shot dead by his own grandfather in a tragic accident in the west of the country.

Every year people die in hunting accidents in France and this year the first deaths came on the opening weekend of the season.

A 13-year-boy, who had joined a hunt in the Vendée department in western France, died after being shot in the head by his own grandfather.

The boy was shot at 11.30 am near the village of Triaize as he went to pick up a game bird that had been shot.

He was taken by helicopter to hospital in Nantes but later died from his injuries.

An investigation has been opened to determine the exact circumstances of the accident.

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But sadly Sunday's tragedy was not a freak event given that each year the hunting season in France claims several victims in shooting accidents.

Indeed the 13-year-old boy was not even the only fatality on the opening weekend of the season.

A 57-year-old hunter was also killed in the south east Alpes-Maritimes department on Saturday afternoon.

The hunter was not a victim of an accidental shooting but reportedly lost his balance and fell into a ravine as he tried to dispose of an animal carcass.

In another incident a man and his 12-year-old son were both hit by bullets fired from another hunter in the Var region of the south east. But their injuries were not fatal and they are now out of danger.

The Association for the Protection of Wild Animals (ASPAS) has long been campaigning for a ban on hunting on Sundays.
 
Speaking to The Local previously, Pierre Athanaze, the head of ASPAS, said the laws needed to be changed in France to prevent more deaths.
 
"France is the only country in Europe where people can hunt every day, which is why we are the country in Europe with the most accidents.
 
"Hunting needs to be stopped on Sundays, because this is the most dangerous day. There are more and more people heading out into the countryside on a Sunday, whether it's for walking, mountain biking or collecting mushrooms. We want an end to it,” he said.

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