French charity seeking to shut down hunting parks

A wild animal charity has gathered 30,000 signatures in its attempt to ban hunts in enclosed parks.

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Aspas says there are around 1,300 places where people can pay to hunt animals in captivity on enclosed land.

Some, referred to as parcs, follow the hunting seasons while enclos (enclosures) have year-round hunting.

The latter are limited to land around a home, totally sealed off with a high, partially-buried barrier.

Most of the animals hunted are game birds, boar and deer.

Aspas, which went undercover in a park in Nouvelle-Aquitaine, says it saw “cruel practices”. It says the parks are contrary to the usual justification of hunting for species control, as animals are often reared to be killed.

The charity says investigators saw hunters avoid killing an animal too quickly because “they have to have fun with it first”: for example, pursuing a boar with quad bikes and dogs, for several hours or even a whole day.

It saw hunters for whom “it was a thrill to see a boar running, or trying to run, with a broken foot”.

Communications manager Richard Holding said: “One investigator said it was like a theme park for hunters.

“The animals raised in parks are almost domestic. When they are hungry, they come near humans and become easy targets.”

Marion Constans, manager of the Fon Rosière Park in Aude, said: “It is exactly the same for a pig farm. The pigs are born to be killed three months later.

When they hunt pheasants they are free but when they hunt boars it is more controlled – we stay with them. The goal is not to shoot 100 times in the day.

“We organise the day for our clients. They come at 8.00, have breakfast then go hunting. They can have lunch and go back to hunting in the afternoon.”

Prices include €500 for a hunt for five people with one boar and a meal, or €140 per person for a day with six pheasants, loan of dogs and meals.

It is possible to pay for an action at €1,400 which includes the right to visit during the year and kill up to 30 quails, 35 pheasants and 35 partridges.

The Domaine du Boulay, in Cher, advertises prices up to €17,900 for a hunt with beaters for up to 20, with 24 boars and/or fallow deer, two does and one stag with large antlers.

Aspas’s petition is online at