To defend hunting and rurality, tens of thousands of people demonstrate in France

They judge the “Threatened rural world” and the “Endangered traditions”. In Mont-de-Marsan (Landes), as in Amiens (Somme) and Redon (Ille-et-Vilaine), several thousand people demonstrated, Saturday, September 18, to defend traditional bird hunts, deemed illegal by the Board of state. Other gatherings were organized in Caen (Calvados), Charleville-Mézières (Ardennes) and Forcalquier (Alpes-de-Haute-Provence).

To the sound of bandas and hunting horns in the pouring rain in Mont-de-Marsan, led by piboles (small horns) in Redon, supported by local elected officials such as the president of Hauts-de-France, Xavier Bertrand, in Amiens , neon orange tides – the color of hunters’ jackets – invaded the streets.

In August, the Council of State ruled several hunting techniques with nets (pantes, tenderies) or cages (matoles) contrary to the European “birds” directive of 2009, which prohibits mass capture techniques for birds without distinction of the species captured. Justice had already ruled illegal, in June, glue hunting, which consists of trapping blackbirds and thrushes on stems coated with glue, but which also leads to the capture of other species of birds.

Article reserved for our subscribers Read also Glue hunting: the Council of State agrees with animal rights activists

A highly courted electorate

In the week, however, the government put several orders for consultation to re-authorize some of these hunts, to the chagrin of environmentalists. A measure interpreted as a gesture towards this very courted electorate.

“There are children, women, all generations … The hunters were the detonator, but all the rurality is there”, welcomed the director of the Federation of hunters of the Landes, Régis Hargues, in Mont-de-Marsan, where just over 16,000 people demonstrated according to the prefecture.

Myriam, a Landaise, wife of hunter and feeder of palmipeds, lover of bullfight, wants to be able “Transmit these traditions” to the younger generations. “It’s not just hunting, it’s a whole art of living”, she slips. “May the townspeople leave us alone!” “said a man next to her. “I’m sick of seeing my culture fall apart. We have already eradicated my language, the Gascon, now it is the traditional hunts, lark, wood pigeon … “, deplores Eric, 47-year-old from Landes, who has had enough of “Ideologues of the capital”.

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“I accompany my father when I can with my 12-year-old brother. I love to see the dogs work and I enjoy being with my family. It is also a moment when we decompress, where we commune with nature ”, explains Jérôme Delalande, a 42-year-old hunter who came from Loire-Atlantique to Redon to demonstrate. In this city, they were 10,000 demonstrators according to the gendarmerie, 12,000 according to the hunters.

“Stop pissing off the rural people”

Everywhere, farmers also defended their traditions. As in Redon, where Catherine Lallié, for the Rural Coordination, declared: “Vegetarians and vegans don’t have to police the food. We feel abandoned by our government and our elected officials… ”

“Pompili, get out of there! “, “Pompili, you didn’t understand anything, hunting is my whole life”, “Stop pissing off the rural people”, could we read on placards in Amiens, electoral stronghold of the Minister of Ecological Transition where 12,000 hunters, fishermen and farmers shouted their anger, according to figures from the prefecture.

“We must respect rurality and the rural people”, said Mr. Bertrand, presidential candidate, questioning Emmanuel Macron:

“He says he supports traditional hunts, but his government does the opposite. We must stop the “the same time”, which is a hypocritical joke, which is to try to please everyone. In life, you have to make choices and have convictions! Me, I am alongside the rural people. “

“We have demagogues in front of us. We will never ask a vegan to eat meat, leave us alone! Let us live “, launched to the crowd the president of the National Federation of Hunters, Willy Schraen, calling for the creation of a large ministry of rurality, “To finally feel at home”.

Read the interview: Willy Schraen, boss of hunters: “We have entered a period of fairly strong ideological fracture”

The World with AFP

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