French group offers €500 reward for ‘best foxhunter’

The hunting association asked its members in the Charente-Maritime to kill foxes

Hunters in the Charente-Maritime (Nouvelle-Aquitaine) have sparked controversy after promising a financial reward for any member who kills the most foxes in the department this hunting season.

The departmental branch of hunting association La Fédération des Chasseurs, which counts 19,000 members nationwide, has offered a €500 reward for the “best foxhunter of the year” in the region.

In an email to its members that leaked to the press, it said: “Hunters that bring in at least 35 fox tails to a partner supplier store” would receive the reward.

The hunting group said it sees foxes as predators, and that there are “numerous studies” that show that the breed creates a negative impact in the wild.

Christophe Bouyer, president of La Fédération des Chasseurs, said: “Foxes are predators, and we wish to regulate them. Regulation is not the same as extermination.”

But Patrick Picaud, president of the environmental association Nature Environnement 17, said the hunting federation’s claims were “false”.

He said: “[This] is totally irresponsible. Hunters call themselves the biggest protectors of nature [yet] this intolerance [of foxes] is unacceptable.”

Hunting has already seen controversy over its methods and permits this season, after British man and French resident Marc Sutton was accidentally killed by a hunter this month, while riding his mountain bike, prompting some to call for tighter controls on the sport.

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