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Drunk hunters face €1,500 fine under new French law

Some groups say measures do not go far enough to reduce hunting accidents

There are around one million licensed hunters in France Pic: Leitenberger Photography / Shutterstock

Hunters who are drunk while holding a firearm face fines of up to €1,500, €3,000 for a repeat offence, under new legislation.

The rule relates to being out hunting or killing pests with a gun, bow or crossbow.

The government said it was looking at banning hunting while drunk when it presented its plan to make the activity safer in a move “towards zero accidents” in January.

Many hunters, walkers and other countryside users are killed or wounded by hunting-related activities every year, although the number reported has dropped recently.

Read more: Hunting season opens in many areas of France: what's good to know

One million licensed hunters in France

In the 2022-23 season, there were six deaths, all of whom were hunters, which was a historic low. 

In the previous two seasons, three non-participants died, which reignited calls for it to be banned at weekends or during holiday periods. 

In particular, several nature charities called for a Sunday ban but, so far, to no avail.

There are around one million licensed hunters in France.

The general hunting season got under way in September, although departments set their own timeframe and rules for it.

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