Hiker accidentally shot dead by hunter in France

A man walking in the countryside in south east France was shot dead by a hunter in an accident at the weekend in just the latest fatality of France's hunting season.

Hiker accidentally shot dead by hunter in France
File photo: AFP

It's another tragic tale from France's hunting season. The latest death happened during a hunt for wild boars in south east France.

The victim, a man aged 59, was walking alone when he was shot at groin level, according to a report in L'Express newspaper.
The hiker died on the spot despite attempts by paramedics to save his life. 
According to reports in the local press the hunter was alerted by the barking of his dog. He turned to see a shadow moving through the bushes and pulled the trigger.
The hunter, aged 62, was arrested and questioned by the local police. 
The accident, which took place at 3.30pm on Saturday afternoon in the village of Taulignan in south east France, is the second to occur in the department of Drome in 2017.
The local hunting association in the Drome described the shooting as “intolerable” and vowed to press charges against the hunter.

French hunter shoots pensioner dead after mistaking him for a wild boarPhoto: AFP

Each year France's hunting season is marred by deadly accidents, of which there have already been several this year year already.
And in September, a 13-year-old boy was shot dead by his own grandfather in a tragic accident in the Vendée department in western France. 
From June 1st 2016 to May 31st 2017, 143 accidents were recorded by France's national hunting office, including 18 which proved fatal.
Speaking to The Local previously, Marc Giraud, the head of Animal rights group 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.”
Opponents of hunting claim most deaths are caused by hunters disobeying the strict rules.
An opinion poll earlier in December revealed 82 percent of French people wanted a ban on hunting on Sundays while 71 percent admitted they didn't feel safe while out walking during the hunting season.


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.