To strengthen the training and education of hunters, to establish safety rules during hunting, to apply stricter penalties for accidents… On January 9, the State Secretary for Ecology announced 14 measures aimed at making hunting safer.
Festival of Lights 2022 in Lyon
The government finally gave up on the idea of creating a day without hunting, but the Secretary of State for the Environment, Béranjere Couillard, announced that he wanted to better regulate this practice. “The goal I deeply believe in is to move towards zero accidents. (…) What we are looking for is 7 days a week enhanced security“, he said.
The goal I deeply believe in is to move towards zero accidents.Bérangère Couillard, Secretary of State for Ecology
For the 2021-2022 season, the French Biodiversity Office recorded 90 accidents and injuries related to the use of hunting weapons, compared to 80 in the previous season. Among them, there were eight deaths, including two non-hunting victims. “The goal I deeply believe in is to move towards zero accidents“said the Secretary of State for the Environment, who traveled to the Loire to announce his plan.
The government wants to generalize gun handling training for all hunters. “One out of every two hunters must be trained by 2025, and all hunters by 2029.“, is it indicated in this plan. The organizers of the search (about 200 000 people) specifically mentioning that there will be an obligation to undergo special training by the federations.safety rules and communication issues with local residents“.
The departmental federation of the Somme welcomed this measure. “The national hunting federation has already started training hunters. These are safety reminders, courses delivered virtually in case of accident or accident risk. Hunters have ten years to complete this training. At first, this was perceived as a limitation, but the courses are so realistic and well designed that our federation is full of requests.“, explains Hubert Sere, spokesman for the Somme hunters’ federation.
Regarding security, the government plans to create in early 2023 “a fine for the act of hunting in a state of extreme intoxication, which will then assist in the creation of a statutory offence.“.
According to a government source at Franceinfo, hunting will be banned under penalties of more than 0.5 grams per liter of blood (ie two glasses of wine). “I am pleased“, – commented Willy Schraen, president of the National Hunter Federation.”Eventually we’ll get out of the sketch of the Unknowns, where people think we’re all alcoholics and barbarians. No problem.”
The same reaction for the hunters of the Somme: “We have nothing against screening even if a fatal accident does not occur as a result of high blood alcohol levels“.
For his part, Guy Harle d’Ophove, president of the Oise hunters’ federation, recalls that there are no longer hunting parties during the hunt. “The numbers speak for themselves, because over ten years we have identified 9% of hunting accidents that revealed a positive level of alcohol in the hunter’s blood, moreover, without being sure that the accident was related to alcohol.“.
In the case of serious accidents, the government envisages enhanced sanctions, in particular the possibility of revocation by banning the hunting license for a certain period of time. “We deal with potentially dangerous and lethal weapons. Therefore, it is necessary to take this responsibility“, Hubert Sere maintains.
According to Guy Harle of Ophov, the law has already strengthened the responsibility of federation presidents. “When we witness irresponsible behavior during hunting, we can remove that person from hunting and revoke his hunting license. We must be relentless“.
Finally, a digital platform will be established to identify fall no-hunting areas and times to better inform hikers and other nature users. The organizers of the collective hunt will be obliged to declare themselves there. This program should be available in the fall and every French should be allowed “to identify no-hunting areas and times near his home“.
A measure that questions hunters. “Rather, it is necessary to make an application where the no-hunt areas are mappedWilly Schraen reacted on fraceinfo. A Mapping is different from implementation, especially when half of the countryside is not even covered by the internet.”
Side Picardy federations, this program is useless. “This seems complicated to me because not everyone has a smartphone. And the hunt is already shown with large panels. Private properties where landowners hunt make up 74% of properties, and state forests shared with hikers are closed on Sundays and holidays.“, explains Ophove Guy Harle.
Hunting federations are also happy with the government’s cancellation of the no-hunt half-day project. This plan, announced by the government, has been well received by hunters in France, who recall that these measures have been implemented for several years.