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HUNTING

Hunter who killed Franco-British man as he chopped wood faces trial in France

A hunter and a hunt organiser are due in court in southwest France accused of manslaughter following the fatal shooting of Anglo-French man Morgan Keane in the Lot département.

Hunter who killed Franco-British man as he chopped wood faces trial in France
The death of Morgan Keane sparked an outcry (Photo by Valentine CHAPUIS / AFP)

Keane was hit in the chest by a bullet from a boar hunter in December 2020 while chopping wood near his home in the village of Calvignac, nearly two hours north of Toulouse.

Hunter Julien Féral – who had a valid gun permit and had recently obtained a hunting licence – faces a maximum three-year prison sentence, a €75,000 fine and a ban on possessing a weapon, if found guilty by the court in Cahors. Hunt organiser Laurent Lapergue, 51, also faces a manslaughter charge.

It is rare in France for the organiser of a hunt to face court over incidents of mistaken shootings.

He reportedly told police that he was not familiar with the area in which the hunt was taking place. He said he had just fired at a boar, and then shot again when he spotted movement, assuming it was the animal.

Keane’s death sparked a campaign for tighter controls of hunting in France.

READ ALSO ‘We are treated like assassins’: Could hunters in France face alcohol ban?

The 25-year-old and his younger brother were living in the nearby house of their late parents when he was shot. 

In the 2021-22 hunting season, the Office français de biodiversité recorded a total of 90 hunting accidents in which people were injured as a result of a hunting weapon being discharged, including eight fatalities – one of them Keane.

In another story involving hunting that made headlines in France this week a father said he was beaten up by hunters who he accused of coming to close to his garden.

Xavier Gourgues, posted images of his injured face and his account of what happened on Facebook.

He said he confronted the group of hunters near his home near the village of Lussac in the Gironde region of south western France.

He said he was gardening with his son and wife when he heard whistles and shots ring out. He confronted the hunters and claimed around 10 of them attacked him and broke his telephone.

A police investigation is underway.

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Member comments

  1. There should be a ban on shooting of any sort except on specified shooting ranges within 2 kilometres of any habitation.
    I quite often pass notices on the road informing me that there is a hunt in progress. This is admittance that hunting is dangerous to passers by. And exactly what is one supposed to do? Change course? Change plans? just to suit a gang of hunters who are now interfering with my right to use public thoroughfares.

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CRIME

French police seize 2.4 tonnes of cannabis near Bordeaux

France’s Economy Minister has praised the work of Bordeaux law officers, after they seized more than 2.4 tonnes of cannabis resin with an estimated street value in excess of €19 million.

French police seize 2.4 tonnes of cannabis near Bordeaux

Bruno Le Maire and Minister Delegate in charge of Public Accounts Gabriel Attal in a joint statement: “Once again, Customs distinguished itself with an exceptional seizure of cannabis, recalling its key role in the fight against drug trafficking. We congratulate the customs officers for their daily commitment to the protection of our fellow citizens.”

Two people were taken into custody after officers stopped a lorry from Spain on the A63, near the Saugnac-et-Muret toll area, just south of Bordeaux, on Monday.

According to Le Figaro, the drugs were hidden in side compartments of the lorry, and concealed by its stated load of wheat, and were discovered by a sniffer dog during the stop.

In total, 2,414.8kg of cannabis resin and 9.75kg of cannabis herb were intercepted by the Bordeaux brigade, with an estimated value of more than €19 million on the illicit market.

Since the end of July, 2022, Customs officials have seized nearly 73 tonnes of drugs, including 41.2 tonnes of cannabis.

The French drugs squad is now investigating to determine the point of origin of the drugs, as well as their destination and the crime network behind the smuggling attempt.

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