by Hugo Struna
Hunting will continue to be allowed on weekends in France, according to a government plan presented on Monday that has left environmentalists disappointed but still needs parliament approval.
Eagerly awaited by environmentalists and the hunting community, the plan lays out 14 proposals and was presented by Secretary of State for Ecology Berangere Couillard on Monday morning.
To limit the number of accidents which have seen a downward trend in the past 20 years but saw a slight jump during the 2021-2022 hunting season (90), the government is proposing to punish alcohol consumption during hunting, offer better training to hunters, and create a digital platform to identify organised hunts in the country.
Hunters and the government believe these measures will help further strengthen the security of hunters and local residents.
“The objective in which I deeply believe is to move towards zero accidents,” explained Couillard at a press conference following the announcement. “It is a reinforced security seven days a week that we are looking for,” she added.
But environmental associations are disappointed that the government decided not to ban hunting on Sundays due to a lack of statistical data pointing to an increase in hunting accidents on that day of the week.
For the League for the Protection of Birds (LPO), this is “an unacceptable contempt for the 80% of French people who are waiting for a ceasefire”, citing a recent survey.
While France and Germany allow hunting every day of the week, the Netherlands, the UK and Wales have banned it on Sundays.
In other European countries, such as Spain and Italy, regulations differ between regions, but national laws still impose no-hunting days.
*first published in: Euractiv.com