French hunter shoots pensioner dead after mistaking him for a wild boar

A hunter in France has shot and killed an elderly man he reportedly mistook for a wild boar, in the secondly deadly accident since the start of the hunting season last month in France.

French hunter shoots pensioner dead after mistaking him for a wild boar
The hunter, who is in his thirties, fired three times at an object he saw moving in a wood in  Seillons-Source-d'Argent in the Var department in southern France.
But the target turned out to be a man in his seventies, media reports said.
The hunter was taken into police custody and breathalysed but the test showed he had not been drinking alcohol.
“We are currently trying to find out what exactly happened,” said Ivan Auriel, a local prosecutor.
“We have not so far determined what the real intentions of the killer were,” he told Var-Matin newspaper.
Police have opened an investigation into the death that occurred during the hunt on Monday evening.
The opening of the hunting season in mid-September was marred when a 13-year-old boy was shot dead by his own grandfather.
The boy, who had joined a hunt in the Vendée department in western France, died after being shot in the head.
A child was badly injured the same day during a hunt in the Var department.
In the hunting season that ended on May 31, a total of 143 accidents were reported, with 18 deaths, according to figures from the National Hunting and Wildlife Agency (ONCFS).
That figure was up from 10 deaths the previous season, but overall the number of accidents has been on a downward trend in recent years.
Accidents are usually caused by hunters failing to respect basis security rules, such as firing at targets that have not been clearly identified or firing in the direction of a road of residential areas, the ONCFS said.


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.

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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.