A new fatal accident revives the debate on hunting



A 25-year-old hiker was killed in a hunting accident in Cantal on Saturday February 19 in the early afternoon. The public prosecutor of Aurillac Paolo Giambiasi clarified on Sunday that the young woman was hit by a bullet while she was walking, with her companion, on a path located in the town of Cassaniouze. The author of the shot would be a 17-year-old young woman who was participating in a wild boar hunt, organized from neighboring Aveyron. She was taken into custody for manslaughter.

→ ANALYSIS. Jostled, the hunters give voice

This accident immediately took a very political turn, as it occurred in the midst of the presidential election campaign. It raises the question of cohabitation, in natural spaces, between hunters and nature lovers.

“An ancestral tradition” for Marine Le Pen

Throughout the weekend, several political figures took turns in the media to position themselves on the subject. The candidate of the Greens Yannick Jadot has been asking for several months for a ban on hunting on weekends and school holidays, in order, he believes, to let non-hunters also enjoy the forest. An argument taken up by his competitor on the left Jean-Luc Mélenchon, who estimated on Sunday, on France 3: “Hunting must not be possible on weekends and during school holidays, because that is where the risk is greatest. Second, we must stop selling weapons that are so powerful. »

→ DEBATE. Should weekend hunting be banned?

Conversely, the National Front candidate rejected any idea of ​​a new restriction. “I consider that hunting is an ancestral tradition and that it must be maintained, advanced Marine Le Pen, Sunday on France Inter. If you prevent hunters from hunting on weekends, they will not be able to hunt because they are working (…). So we have to succeed in finding a way so that walkers and hunters can safely enjoy our extraordinary domain. »

A step towards more regulation?

In this context, could the government, or even the future candidate Emmanuel Macron, evolve? So far, the majority, through the Minister of Ecology, Barbara Pompili, while deeming Yannick Jadot’s idea interesting, has contented itself with recalling that it “did not intend to ban hunting”. On Sunday, the Secretary of State for Biodiversity Bérangère Abba nevertheless seemed to take a step towards more regulation: “If it turns out that we still have things to strengthen, we will do so”she explained, recalling having recently announced “the creation of a geolocation app in which we could know around us where the hunts are taking place”.

“Our collective future depends on it”

While he must give his voting instructions soon, the president of the National Federation of Hunters, for his part, called on his troops to be restrained, in a message he sent them on Facebook: “Without waiting for the results of the investigation, I want to tell you that nothing can justify, even accidentally, the death of a person. I ask you to exclude from your hunts anyone who does not have a perfect safe conduct when practicing our passion”added Willy Schraen, adding: “Our collective future depends on it. »

→ PORTRAIT. Willy Schraen, a hunter at the front against “political ecology”

Indeed, in a highly urbanized society, hunters know they are at odds with public opinion. This is already what emerged, for example, from a (prospective) white paper on hunting in 2040, written by the François-Sommer Foundation – manager of the Parisian Museum of Hunting and Nature, in particular – the year last. She summed up the issue thus: “In the past, when we went hunting, we immersed ourselves in a one-on-one with the savage. We met no one on his way. Today, nature welcomes a thousand people who do not hunt. »

However, this cohabitation remains to be invented. If for twenty years, the number of victims of hunting accidents has decreased, for example from 232 in 2000 to 131 in 2010, according to the French Office for Biodiversity, they are far from being eradicated. “Over the 2020-2021 season, 80 hunting accidents were recorded, including seven fatalities involving six hunters and one non-hunter”, notes the Office in its latest report.

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