Angry French locals save stag chased into private garden by hunters and dogs

A stag was saved at the last moment by angry locals who confronted a team of hunters and their dogs after the injured and bloodied beast was chased into a private garden in a village north of Paris.

Angry French locals save stag chased into private garden by hunters and dogs
Hounds crowd around a deer they felled in a hunt in France. Photo: AFP

The stag ran into the garden in Bonneuil-en-Valois on Tuesday and was quickly surrounded by the dogs who were ready to bring it down and kill it as is the tradition in stag hunting with hounds in France.

A video posted by a local woman on Facebook shows the terrified animal, which had already been injured in the chase and whose tongue was covered in blood, standing in the corner of a garden with no way out as the yelping dogs got ready to attack.

But local residents quickly came out of their houses and confronted the hunters, informing them that hunting was banned within the perimeter of the village and telling them that they must withdraw their dogs.

“It was tense,” one resident told Le Parisien newspaper. “There must have been about thirty of us. The hunters were insulted and called all sorts of names. The owner (of the garden) wouldn’t let them onto his property.”

The heated exchange lasted for about two hours before the hunters finally conceded and left the village. The stag was eventually able to leave safely.

The standoff came just two months after there was an outcry in France after hunters and their hounds tracked a stag to the garden of a private house – in a village in the same region as Bonneuil-en-Valois – before shooting it at close range.

Such incidents have led French animal rights groups to step up their calls for hunting with hounds to be banned in France.


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.