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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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IMMIGRATION

French police clear Channel migrant camps after violence leaves one dead

Police dismantled a camp housing hundreds of migrants near Dunkirk in northern France on Wednesday after one person was killed and three wounded in suspected score-settling between smugglers, authorities said.

French police clear Channel migrant camps after violence leaves one dead

Around 500 people, mainly Iraqi Kurds, had been living at the wooded site in Loon-Plage, near a canal that often serves as a key launching point for boats hoping to cross the English Channel for Britain.

Buses stood by to bring the migrants to shelters, but most left instead on foot, carrying what belongings they could.

On Monday night, one migrant was shot and killed and another wounded by what volunteer aid workers described as machine gun fire, the day after two others were also shot and wounded, one seriously.

Ammunition from “weapons of war” were found, Dunkirk’s state prosecutor Sebastian Pieve had told AFP on Tuesday, and a clash between rival smuggling groups was “a theory, but it’s not easy to establish”.

“But it’s certain that human trafficking is the backdrop to this,” he said.

Dawan, a 32-year-old Kurd, would say only “mafia, mafia” when asked by AFP about the shootings.

He said he had recently paid €1,600 to a smuggler who said he would get him to England after spending five months in France, but the man disappeared the next day.

Claire Millot of the Salam migrant aid group said most volunteer associations had quit operating at Loon-Plage out of security fears, adding that Africans and other nationalities had recently been seen in an area usually occupied mainly by Kurds.

More than 7,000 migrants have managed to cross the busy shipping lane and reach the British coast since January, after the number of arrivals tripled to over 28,000 last year — which saw at least 30 migrants die while trying.

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