La chasse 2021: How to block hunters from using your land in France

Use this letter template to request that your land be taken off the list of permitted hunting grounds

15 September 2021

The French Environmental Code states that no one has the right to hunt on the property of others without their consent, but landowners must express their opposition in writing. Pic: Matthias Friel / Shutterstock

By Emma Morgan

With September’s rentrée [return to school and work after the summer], comes the beginning of the hunting season in France, with the country’s 1,313,000 hunters being allowed to pursue and kill 90 different species of animal. 

The season starts at different times in different departments, beginning in Corsica on the first Sunday of September. 

Over the following weekends, it launches in departments of southern and central France, reaching northern areas including Nord-Pas-de-Calais, Ile-de-France, Lorraine and Normandy on the fourth Sunday of the month.

According to the principal French law covering ecology and rural life - le Code de l’environnement - no one has the right to hunt on the property of others without the consent of the owner. 

However, hunting is often carried out by default and those with large plots of land need to show your wish to prohibit it, although it is commonly prohibited within a 150m radius from houses and so those with smaller gardens should not generally be affected. 

What should I do? 

If you own land and wish to put in place a hunting ban, the steps to take depend firstly on whether hunting in your area is covered by a société de chasse, which is a simple association (‘club’).

In other parts of France hunting is organised by an organisation approved by the prefecture, called an ACCA (association communale de chasse agréée) or AICA.

You can check with your mairie to find out.

In areas covered by a société de chasse you can ban hunting by sending a letter to the president of the association and a copy to your mayor.

The process is more complex where an ACCA is concerned, unless the land in question is within a 150m perimeter of your house or it is entirely fenced off, in which case it is automatically prohibited.  

In both cases, you can obtain advice from the LPO or Aspas nature charities. These encourage people to declare their land as LPO or Aspas wildlife ‘refuges’ as part of the process.

Sending a letter to your local hunting federation

The LPO has a suggested model letter which we have translated and which you can find at the bottom of this article.  

In 2019, a new procedure was put in place requiring landowners to send their letter with recorded delivery to the president of the departmental hunting federation (Fédération départementale des chasseurs), and not to their local prefecture. 

After being validated, the letter will be sent to the president of the ACCA, who will have two months to respond with their view. In all, the hunting federation has four months from the reception of the letter to make their decision. 

It should also be noted that this process can only be undertaken a maximum of six months before the administration of your local ACCA is renewed, an event that only happens every five years. The ban will only come into effect after this renewal.

You will also need to provide details of the location of your land and a printout of the cadastre land registry plans (see cadastre.gouv.fr).

Cadastre details consist of letters showing the ‘section’ and then a specific ‘parcel’ number (or numbers if the area is large).

Example letter requesting the banning of hunting on your land

Objet : Demande de retrait de terrain(s) du territoire de chasse de l’ACCA au titre des articles  L. 422-10 5° et L. 422-14 du code de l’environnement

Pièces jointes : plans cadastraux et actes de propriété

                                                                                                                                                           Le __/__/____

 Monsieur le Président,

Les articles L. 422-10 5° et L. 422-14 du code de l’environnement nous autorisent à demander le retrait de nos terrains de l’ACCA (ou de l’AICA selon le cas) et d’y interdire la chasse au nom de convictions personnelles.

 En conséquence, je vous demande de prendre acte du retrait de l’ACCA de la commune de………….. des terrains suivants :

-          adresse, n° de cadastre et surface + plan cadastral + acte de propriété en pièces jointes pour chaque parcelle

 Je certifie sur l’honneur qu’il s’agit là de la totalité de mes propriétés.

Je vous demande également de rayer mon nom de la liste des membres de l’ACCA de la commune de………………………..

Cette décision de retrait étant motivée par mon engagement vis-à-vis de la protection de la nature. Je m’engage à interdire toute pratique de la chasse et à ne pas la pratiquer moi-même sur ces parcelles.

Je m’engage à signaler mon terrain en  matérialisant ainsi l'interdiction de chasser pour autrui en apposant des pancartes portant la mention « chasse interdite »

Enfin, je connais ma responsabilité, en tant que propriétaire, en cas de dégâts qui pourraient être causés par le gibier provenant de mon fonds. 

(A ne mettre que si vos terrains sont inscrits en Refuge LPO) : je tiens également à vous informer que ces terrains sont inscrits comme Refuge LPO (Ligue pour la Protection des Oiseaux), dont le principal objectif est de préserver la faune et la flore sauvages.

 J’ai bien pris note que mon retrait sera effectif au prochain renouvellement de votre ACCA et/ou AICA. Et je vous demande donc de me transmettre la date de création ainsi que la/les dates de renouvellement de l’ACCA et/ou AICA dont mes parcelles dépendent afin de connaitre la date de sortie effective de l’ACCA/AICA.

 Comptant sur votre diligence, je vous prie d’agréer, Monsieur le Président, l’expression de mes plus respectueuses salutations.

Signature

Copie pour information à :

Monsieur le Président de l’ACCA de la commune de……………………………………

Monsieur le Maire de la commune de……………………………………………………

Copie à la préfecture /DDT/Service chasse

TRANSLATION

Subject: Request for the withdrawals of land(s) from the hunting grounds of the ACCA under articles L.422-10 5° and L.422-14 of the Environmental Code. 

Attached documents: Land registry plans and property deeds.

Date: 

Mr President, 

Articles L. 422-10 5° and L. 422-14 of the Environmental Code authorise us to request the withdrawal of our lands from the ACCA (or AICA) and to prohibit hunting on our property on account of our personal beliefs.

I, therefore, request that you begin the process of withdrawing the following lands from the ACCA of [TOWN]: 

  • [ADDRESS, CADASTRE NUMBERS, LAND REGISTRY PLANS and PROPERTY DEEDS for each parcel of land to be attached]

I declare on my honour that the above details cover my property in its entirety.

I also ask that you remove my name from the list of ACCA members in [TOWN].

Since this decision to withdraw is motivated by my commitment to the protection of nature, I undertake to prohibit all hunting and not to hunt myself on this land.

I will also undertake to signal my land as off-limits to hunters by installing signs reading: “Hunting prohibited.”

I understand that as the landowner I am responsible for any damage that might be caused by the game which comes from my land.

(Only if your land is listed as an LPO Refuge) I would also like to inform you that this land is listed as a refuge of the Ligue de la Protection des Oiseaux, whose main objective is to preserve wild fauna and flora.

I have noted that my lands’ withdrawal will take effect from the next renewal of your ACCA/AICA. I, therefore, request that you let me know the date of this renewal so that I know when my lands will cease to be part of the ACCA/AICA. 

I trust that you will be in agreement and I would ask you to accept, Mr President, the expression of my most respectful sentiments.

Signature

Final steps 

After writing your letter, you should also send a copy to the president of your local ACCA, as well as the mayor and prefecture of your town. 

Keep a dated copy of your letter in case you do not receive a response within the four-month time limit.  

If your land is withdrawn from the list of permitted hunting grounds but you notice that hunters are ignoring the ban, you can contact the French office for biodiversity, L’Office français de la biodiversité or the local gendarmerie. 

Related stories 

France hunting season 2021: Five facts about la chasse

Resident or second-home owner in France?
Benefit from our daily digest of headlines and how-to's to help you make the most of life in France
By joining the newsletter, you agree to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy
See more popular articles
The Connexion Help Guides
Brexit and Beyond for Britons in France*
Featured Help Guide
What the Brexit deal means for UK residents of France, second homeowners and visitors in 2021 and after
Get news, views and information from France
You have 2 free subscriber articles left
Subscribe now to read unlimited articles and exclusive content
Already a subscriber? Log in now