ANIMAL protection group Aspas says it has won the support of President Hollande after it complained about the rising number of hunting accidents – which last season saw 21 people killed in 179 accidents.
Aspas has called for hunting to be banned on Sundays as it says that France is the only country in Europe where hunting is allowed every day of the week.
As the new season opens across large parts of France, it said that 14% of the accidents involved non-hunters – with two people being killed – and highlighted a 25% rise in accidents last season and a 37% increase since 2011.
Fatalities have also been rising, from 19 in 2009-10, 18 in 2010-11 and 16 in 2011-12 to 21 this past season.
In a presentation to Mr Hollande yesterday, Aspas called for a rethink on hunting laws and especially a Sunday ban as nearly three-quarters of accidents happened on a Sunday and that the fear of being shot stopped families enjoying the countryside.
It said he had been very receptive to their arguments and upset at the figures. Now it is to send Mr Hollande its petition with 300,000 signatures calling for Sunday hunting to be banned.
It also called for a safe no-shooting area round houses, legislation to set hunting safety rules (there is none in place at the moment, despite a law being passed in 2000) and regular sight tests for hunters.
The Fédération Nationale des Chasseurs has rejected the calls for a ban on Sunday hunting and said there were 1.2million hunters in France, many of whom worked on Saturdays.