The mission had been set up last November, after more than 120,000 people had signed on the site of the high assembly a petition launched by the collective “Un jour un chasseur”, created following the death of a young man from 25-year-old Morgan Keane, “shot down by a hunter while he was chopping wood in his garden” in the Lot.
In particular, it called for the establishment of “Sundays and Wednesdays without hunting” or even “protective distances around residential areas which are equal to the maximum range of weapons”, a maximum blood alcohol level for hunters (there is no There is currently no limit, but alcoholism can be an aggravating circumstance in the event of prosecution after an accident) or even an increase in the age for having a hunting license, currently set at 16 years.
According to figures from the French Office for Biodiversity, the number of hunting accidents has been on a downward trend for 20 years. For the 2021/22 season, “the OFB recorded a total of 90 hunting accidents (bodily injuries linked to the use of a hunting weapon), including eight fatalities. hunters”.
Opponents of hunting point out that the number of hunters is falling, this decrease is normal. According to the figures cited by the senatorial mission, in 20 years the number of accidents has fallen by 46%, that of deaths by 74%, while the number of hunters has fallen less, by 29%.
On days without hunting, advocated during the presidential campaign by candidates Yannick Jadot and Jean-Luc Mélenchon, the mission rejected “a uniform national rule”, while saying it was “convinced that local demands must be heard”. It therefore proposes to “allow the prefects to limit the days and hours of hunting to ensure the safety of people” and to establish a “compulsory prior declaration of big game hunts”, the most accident-prone.
On the other hand, it proposes to create “an offense of obstructing the conduct of legal sports or leisure activities”, a claim by hunters against activists who are trying in particular to prevent hunts with hounds.
She also rejects the idea of protective distances, stressing that they “would lead, given the range of weapons, to prohibit hunting in a large part of France”.
On the other hand, it proposes to “prohibit alcohol and the use of narcotics during hunting” and to “align the blood alcohol level retained, the prohibition of narcotics as well as their respective sanctions with the rules in force in matter of highway code”
Among the 30 proposals are also measures to strengthen training, without raising the age of obtaining the license but by “generalizing tutoring”, or the obligation to pass a first aid certificate and an annual medical examination.
The president of the National Federation of Hunters Willy Schraen denounced “totally exaggerated proposals and for some stigmatizing”. “It’s the cold shower, from EELV or LFI it wouldn’t have surprised me, all that’s missing is the proposal to file S all hunters,” he told AFP.
On the days without hunting, for example, he denounced “the incredible hypocrisy of throwing the responsibility on a prefect who will take 20,000 furious emails” to demand restrictions.
On alcohol, he pointed out that he was involved in “7% of hunting accidents (9% according to the senatorial mission, editor’s note), much less than on the road”. “What right to reserve that for hunters, a drunk guy on a bike is dangerous too,” he fumed.
The anti-hunting associations did not react less. Nine of them denounced in a joint press release an “indecent report” which rejects “almost all of the requests” and called for “a referendum on the establishment of Sunday and Wednesday without hunting, the establishment of security perimeters around houses and the limitation of the range of weapons”.