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Law proposal to ban hunt enclosures designed to trap animals in France

The bill is supported by 80 MPs, and is the latest move in what has been a controversial few months for hunting in France – but not all are in favour

Thousands of kilometres of fencing surrounds private hunting land in France, with a new proposal set to challenge this and calling for a ban on hunts within such enclosures Pic: Rsooll / Shutterstock

A group of 80 French MPs has supported a proposal to stop the use of hunting enclosures on private land in France, in the latest move in what has been a controversial year for the practice.

François Cormier-Bouligeon, LREM MP for Cher (centre-right, current party in power), proposed the law in a bid to ban the practice, which is condemned by animal protection associations.

The tall fences are often used on private land, to encourage game animals to breed more within the enclosures so there are more animals available for private hunts.

The proposal could be set to be examined by parliament in early 2022.

Mr Cormier-Bouligeon has cited the example of the forest of Sologne, which he said is “today scarred by 4,000 kilometres of high fences". An investigative video by animal association One Voice showed dozens of deer and boar inside the enclosure.

Muriel Arnal, president of One Voice, said: “Fencing keeps the animals to be hunted inside the enclosure. Hunters pay a lot of money to be able to kill a lot of animals in one day.”

The MP has also launched a petition calling for the same changes. More than 1,600 people have signed so far.

The proposal states: “We firstly propose to introduce new laws around enclosures, and then to ban the hunting of game from inside them.”

And while 80 MPs have so far backed the proposal, it does not have unanimous support. Some landowners have said that the fencing ensures the safety and security of their property.

Guy Harlé d'Ophove, MP for Hauts-de-France and president of the hunting federation in the Oise department, said that the initiative is not fit for purpose.

He said: “Every department has different rules. Maybe we can look at the height of the fences, or review the number of animals that can be killed, but it must be done on a case by case basis.”

It is the latest high-profile news to hit the hunting world in recent months, after a series of severe accidents – some fatal – reignited debates surrounding the practice.

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