Saturday, April 14, 2007

Crap Hunters

About 20 kilometres east of here is the "ForĂȘt de la Braconne". It's a kind of national park, it's owned by the state, so hunting rights on it are auctioned. According to the local paper, the guys who have one of the parcels of land (which they won in a secret bid auction in 2005, paying 53400 Euros per year for 12 years on 2650 hectares) have not been killing enough wild boar.
Asterix and Obelix would hang their heads in shame.
They are been taken to court for "only" killing 354 boars. They had agreed by contract to kill 485. They are accused of voluntarily allowing the number of boars to increase. The population explosion of boars means that the beasts are overflowing into neighbouring farmlands and destroying crops.
The accused feel thay are being targeted by those who did not win the auction because there are other hunt organisation in the forest - hunting with horse and hounds for example, who have also failed to meet their targets, but are not being prosecuted.
I think it's a great example of cultural difference between France and UK. In the UK hunting is only done on private land. Only the rich can afford to own propert large enough to house game. Hunting with horse and hounds is theoretically illegal.
And here in France you get taken to court because you haven't hunted enough!!
In france we hunt in the winter, although wild boar, fox and others can be hunted out of season if the local authorites declare that they are causing a "nuisance"
"Pest" animals like fox, badger, coipu can be hunted all year. You need a license of course, the French government never miss a chance to raise revenue.
I passed my hunting license 2 years ago and I have a 12 gauge double-barrel shotgun. I didn't hunt this year because I couldn't afford the fees.



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