The presidential candidate for France’s Greens (Europe Ecologie - Les Verts), Yannick Jadot, has said that he wants to ban hunting on weekends and school holidays, following a recent hunting accident that left a man seriously injured.
A 29-year-old man was struck by a stray bullet while out walking with his mother, near to Vallières-sur-Fier (Haute-Savoie) on Thursday (October 28).
The local public prosecutor described it as an accident linked to a boar hunt and said that the hunter who is thought to have fired the shot has been taken into custody, France Bleu reported. An investigation is underway to determine the cause of the accident.
It is the second hunting-related accident in the region of Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes this month, after a 30-year-old woman was hit by a bullet and injured while out cycling in Savoie on October 9.
Mr Jadot said a weekend ban on hunting was a matter of people being able to go for walks in nature.
“Three quarters of the people who live in rural areas do not dare to go for a walk on Sunday when there is gunfire. It is not normal,” he told BFMTV.
He said that he did not want hunting to be banned entirely.
Mr Jadot’s comments come as a group called Un jour un chasseur pushes to get hunting banned on Sundays and Wednesdays.
They have launched a petition on the Senate website that has attracted over 48,000 signatures. If it reaches 100,000 within six months, it will be sent to the Conférence des Présidents, which decides what is to be debated in the Senate. It was launched on September 10.
Un jour un chasseur was formed by friends of 25-year-old Morgan Keane, who was killed in December last year due to a hunting accident.
He was chopping wood at his home in Calvignac (Lot) when he was hit by a hunting bullet and died.
Un jour un chasseur points out that hunting on Sundays has been illegal in the UK since 1831, and it is also forbidden on Sundays in the Netherlands, as well as in several German states, Swiss cantons and Spanish regions.
Hunting accidents are becoming less common in France, with stricter safety measures in place.
The national hunting federation, Federation Nationale Des Chasseurs, says that the number of accidents has decreased by 41% compared to 1999.
However, during last year’s hunting season there were still 141 accidents, 11 of which were fatal.
All hunters are required to have a permit to go on shoots. They also have to follow several rules, such as only having their weapon loaded when they are in the process of shooting.