Government hunting plan: “The majority of our proposals will be taken up”, welcomes Patrick Chaize

Barring a huge surprise, there will therefore be no day without a hunt among the measures to secure the practice that the government will present on Monday January 9 in the Loiret. A few months ago, however, Bérangère Couillard, the Secretary of State responsible for ecology, opened the door to this proposal, which was approved by 78% of French people according to an Ifop poll conducted in mid-December among 1,000 people for on behalf of various environmental protection associations.

No day without hunting: “A gross government error”, for ecologist Daniel Salmon

Guest of franceinfo this Friday, Christophe Béchu, the Minister of Ecological Transition and Territorial Cohesion confirmed half-word that the day without hunting was not part of the set of measures to secure the practice. “We can’t act as if, by sanctuarizing half a day, we solve the problem completely”.

“This is a big mistake by the government. A Sunday without hunting would have been a very acceptable compromise, a gesture by the hunters to have this practice accepted by the rest of the population. It is a societal demand shared by both rural and urban dwellers. I am betting that we will come there in a few years, ”regrets the environmental senator Daniel Salmon, who participated in the fact-finding mission for securing hunting.

For memory, this Senate fact-finding mission, launched at the end of 2021, following the success of a petition calling for a ban on hunting on Sundays and Wednesdays, also ruled out this measure. Contacted by publicenat.fr, its rapporteur, Patrick Chaize (LR) remains cautious and does not want to burn politeness to Bérangère Couillard. “I had him on the phone on Tuesday. She told me that the arbitration on this point would be made this Friday by Emmanuel Macron”. The words of Christophe Béchu since seem to set the trend.

“The ban on Sunday hunting is a political marker” for the rapporteur of the mission

The senator believes that “the ban on Sunday hunting is a political marker. Nothing says that it would have an impact on the number of accidents. On the other hand, it would have an impact on the sense of security of walkers, yes. But, the probability is related to the number of gunshots. The shots that will not be fired on Sunday will be on Saturday,” he justifies before announcing: “The vast majority of our proposals will be taken up. I am very happy and very proud of it”.

A bill in preparation

The senator will also accompany the minister to Dry (Loiret) and has drafted a bill which will decline the recommendations of the Senate information mission. “The text is ready. I am waiting for the minister to speak before tabling it. Bérangère Couillard will announce measures that depend on everyone’s goodwill, regulatory measures and legislative measures. These will be found in my text,” he explains.

One of them caused a lot of talk last fall and is favored by the government, it is the penalty in case of alcohol abuse while hunting. “It can be done in two stages. There is the verbalization aspect, the contravention aspect. It will then be necessary to have a law to define the offense of alcoholism and the controls which could fall under the gendarmerie and the municipal police. The difficulty will be to control hunters in private forests, ”explains the elected official.

On the side of the hunters, the measure does not arouse an outcry. “We have to see how the controls will be organized. But, in principle, we are in favor. It must be remembered that alcohol is only present in 9% of hunting accidents, ”underlines Constance Bouquet, deputy director of the National Federation of Hunters.

Instead of a day without hunting, the government is relying on a mobile application to inform walkers of hunts.

Last year heard by the senators, Bérangère Abba, at the time Secretary of State for Biodiversity, announced the development of an application cross-checking data from the National Forestry Office (ONF). “An ergonomic tool that will allow everyone, by geolocating, to know where and when hunting actions are taking place. It is absolutely necessary and it can allow an appeasement of local situations, ”she explained.

But a vagueness still surrounds the implementation of this tool. “The principle we have set is an open national platform that would provide everyone with the location of the hunts. This data could be retrieved in the GPS applications of hikers, a bit like the Coyote app for motorists, ”recalls Patrick Chaize. It should be noted that the mission also requested the availability in open data of the hunting calendars, including in private domains as soon as it “impacts a public road”.

“What we are proposing is to” map the territories without hunting which already represent 30% of the forest. We tend to forget that 75% of French forests are private. There are also hikers who are already traveling with apps. They report when a tree has fallen. They could add hunting to it, ”supports Constance Bouquet.

“Everyone knows the randomness of this type of application which gives a false idea of ​​​​security and is ultimately dangerous”, denounces on Twitter, the boss of environmental senators, Guillaume Gontard.

“The gag in this affair, all the same, is that in the heart of a forest … there is no network”, underlines for her part the EELV deputy, Sandrine Rousseau.

Standardization of safety rules at national level

The Senate mission strongly pleaded for standardization of safety rules at the national level, in particular the generalization of the famous 30 degree rule for beat shots. A measure that is not favored by hunters (see our article).

It proposed to align hunting with sports practiced with a weapon (sports shooting, clay pigeon shooting and ski biathlon) by requiring an annual medical certificate. The senators also want to complete the ten-year training of hunters on safety rules, set up in 2019, with a practical component, namely the handling of weapons. Measures that should be found in the announcements of Bérangère Couillard.

Government hunting plan: “The majority of our proposals will be taken up”, welcomes Patrick Chaize