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Macron wants to reinstate presidential hunting parties

His call came despite 84% of people calling for the chasse à courre to be banned

President Macron has called for ‘presidential hunts’ to be restarted just weeks after some of his own MPs backed a bill for a law to ban hunting with dogs or chasse à courre.

Until they were halted by the then president Sarkozy in 2010, presidential hunts, held at Rambouillet, Marly-le-Roi or the Château de Chambord, were prestigious events where the president could invite business and political leaders and foreign heads of state for what Mr Macron described as la culture française.

Once halted, the hunts continued on a smaller scale to keep animal numbers down with shooting at Chambord taking place in a 160-hectare walled area which is home to 800 deer and 1,500 wild boar. As in grouse shooting, birds or game are driven to­wards the guns.

The French hunt federations held a hunt at the chateau in December when Mr Macron celebrated his 40th birthday there. He did not take part but addressed hunters at the tableau tribute to the 30 shot animals.

The Journal du Dimanche reported he said the hunters were “a great asset for biodiversity” and he would be “the president who develops hunting; you can always count on me.”

In March, speaking at the Fédération Nationale des Chas­seurs meeting in Paris, Mr Macron repeated his call for the presidential hunts to be restarted and said they could be a diplomatic tool.

It followed several hunting incidents with a deer shot after being chased into a private garden in Lacroix-Saint-Ouen, Oise; residents blocking hunters reaching another in Bonneuil-en-Valois and a deer killed with a knife after jumping into the river Aisne to escape the dogs.

France Insoumise MP Bastien Lachaud has drawn support from other parties for his bill to ban hunting with dogs and Ecology Minister Nicolas Hulot said he wanted a rethink on a practice that “prolonged the agony of the animal”.

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