New calls to limit hunting in France after hiker killed by stray bullet

There have been calls for tighter controls on la chasse after a 25-year-old hiker died after being shot by accident by a hunter in rural France.

New calls to limit hunting in France after hiker killed by stray bullet
There are calls for tighter regulation of hunting in France after another death. Photo by JEAN-SEBASTIEN EVRARD / AFP

The hiker was walking in the Cantal département of central France on Saturday when she was shot by a hunter and died shortly after. A 17-year-old local woman who fired the shot has been placed under formal police investigation.

This is just the latest in a series of accidental deaths linked to hunting that is leading to growing calls for stricter regulation of the sport.

Every year around 20 people are killed by hunters in France – often hikers, cyclists and dog-walkers although the majority of victims are hunters themselves.

On Sunday animal rights charity the Brigitte Bardot foundation called from stricter controls on hunting and a limit to the days when hunters can operate.

READ ALSO How to stay safe during the French hunting season

Charity spokesman Christophe Marie told France Info: “We need a political response because unfortunately the death of this young woman is not an isolated case.

“In 20 years, hunters have killed more than 400 people and injured thousands more. We are asking for a much stricter framework for hunting and for days without hunting in order to achieve a better sharing of nature.

“We did a survey last year which showed that 71 percent of French people feel unsafe during the hunting season.”

Meanwhile an increasing number of politicians are in favour of limits to hunting days, such as banning the activity at weekend and during school holidays.

Green candidate Yannick Jadot and far-left Jean-Luc Mélenchon both say they are in favour of this, while the current environment minister Barbara Pompili has said that the idea at least needs to be debated.

But with 1.2 million participants, the hunting lobby is a powerful one.

The Macron government has said that it “has no desire to ban hunting in one way or another. On the other hand, it must be regulated.”

Member comments

  1. Cannot understand why French chasseurs should have a ‘licence to kill’. Surely, the French government should be doing culls of deer and boar WHERE NECESSARY. And 400 people killed over 20 years? This must speak loudly about the poor hearing and eyesight of some of these old boys and ladies?

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French Green party boss resigns in fresh blow to left

The head of France's Greens party resigned on Monday after being accused of "psychological violence" by a former partner, dealing a fresh blow to the country's beleaguered left-wing political coalition.

French Green party boss resigns in fresh blow to left

Julien Bayou, head of the Europe Ecology Greens party (EELV), said in a statement that he was stepping down due to the “unsustainable” nature of his position.

He has denied the allegations and said he would remain an MP, adding that the decision did not call into question “my current or future commitment”.

The environmentalist came under pressure last week after fellow EELV lawmaker Sandrine Rousseau told a TV show that she had met Bayou’s former partner, who was “very depressed”.

Bayou “has behaviour that causes women mental breakdowns,” Rousseau claimed.

The explosive allegations came amid a separate scandal that has enveloped the fellow left-wing party France Unbowed (LFI), where a senior MP recently admitted hitting his wife during a break up.

Rousseau has faced criticism for publicly undermining a colleague on the basis of allegations about his private life that have not been reported to the police.

Bayou called it “Kafka on social networks”, adding that he had “been accused of things that have not been stated (to me), which the accusers say are not punishable as a crime.”

An internal EELV committee that investigates gender-based or sexual violence began a probe into Bayou in July.

At the time, he said he was going through a “breakup that includes barely concealed threats to me and a form of manipulation that I can only condemn.”

After years in the political wilderness, France’s left-wing parties grouped together in a coalition known as “Nupes” for parliamentary elections in June.

The alliance raised hopes they might serve as a united opposition to the centrist ruling alliance of President Emmanuel Macron, but it has struggled to maintain a common front.

Communist party head Fabien Roussel broke ranks publicly with his partners in mid-September, when he said the left “must defend the notion of work, and not be the left of benefits and social security.”

Rousseau replied that “work was a value of the right”, adding that people had “the right to be lazy” and that the left should be focused on reducing the length of the working week.

Allegations about harassment and assault are rife in French politics, surfacing regularly since the #MeToo movement against sexual violence began in 2017.

In July, Damien Abad, a right-winger who was named minister in Macron’s freshly installed centrist government, was forced to step down over rape allegations.