Criticism as France lengthens boar hunting season

Hunters in France are to win the right to hunt boar “almost all year round” due to a new government decree, in a move that has been condemned by a nature protection group.

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The warning comes as the government prepares a new decree that will open the boar hunting season from the month of June onwards, as a public consultation finished this week after more than 25,000 comments on the issue were received.

This will lengthen the season considerably. It will also extend the hunting season for deer and foxes.

The government’s official stance on the move is that it will limit the damage caused by large wild animals: in 2017, hunting associations paid out €30 million in compensation to farmers and producers whose property was damaged by boar.

But nature and bird protection association la Ligue de Protection des Oiseaux (LPO) has said that as the boar hunting season finishes in March, opening it again in June will mean the season now lasts “nearly 100% of the year”.

Yves Verilhac, director general of the LPO, said: “France is the country that hunts the biggest number of species over the longest period of the year. And we want to be champions of biodiversity! There is a problem here.

“Obviously [this measure] risks increasing tensions. WE have more and more people who tell us that they have had problems because people have barred them access from a footpath [due to hunting].”

But hunters have said that they will not start hunting boar in practice from June onwards, even though the law will allow them to do so, and have said the move is purely administrative.

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