Pregnant woman killed by dogs in French woods during a hunt with hounds

A pregnant woman was killed by dogs while walking her own dog in a forest in northern France during a hunt with hounds, investigators said Tuesday.

Pregnant woman killed by dogs in French woods during a hunt with hounds
Illustration photo: AFP

The body of the 29-year-old woman was found Saturday in a forest outside the town of Villers-Cotterets, about 90 kilometres (55 miles) northeast of Paris, the prosecutor's office in nearby Soissons said.

An autopsy showed that she had died of “bleeding after several dog bites to the upper and lower limbs and the head,” prosecutor Frederic Trinh said.

Some of the bites were “post mortem”, he added. 

Trinh said that tests had been carried out on 93 dogs, including some hounds from the hunt and five dogs belonging to the women herself, to try establish which ones attacked her.

The police have launched an investigation into manslaughter by dog attack.   

According to local newspaper Le Courrier Picard, the dogs were hunting deer.

The woman had called her partner while walking her dog to report the presence of “threatening dogs”, the prosecutor's office said.

It was he who later discovered her body.

Brigitte Bardot, president of her eponymous animal welfare foundation, declared herself deeply shocked on hearing of the case and in a letter urged Elisabeth Borne, French minister for ecological transition, to suspend “immediately all hunt authorisation for this season”.

The Paris-headquartered French hunting association said in a statement, however, that “nothing shows the involvement of hunting hounds in the death of this woman”. 

France has more than 30,000 hunt hounds in total and the association stated that “these dogs are trained to hunt a particular animal and obey man in all circumstances”.


OPINION: France is a dangerous place to go for a walk and the government must get tough on hunters

Member comments

  1. Obviously still subject to investigation and it is by no means certain yet, that it was the hunting dogs that attacked this poor woman. If it is determined that it was the hunting dogs then it is incredible that the hunters were so far away that they were unaware of what was happening or were powerless to control their hounds. Presumably the child she was carrying has also died in the tragedy. How awful for her partner to discover her like this.

  2. The association stated that “these dogs are trained to hunt a particular animal and obey man in all circumstances”.
    Are they braindead or just so unintelligent that they believe this rubbish? No animal can be trained with that amount of certainly. I’ve hunted for 65 years and know that one always has to be constantly paying attention when out with a pack of hounds. All hunting should be stopped this year as a mark of respect for this poor woman’s family.

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.