France to tighten its hunting laws, but won’t impose ban

PARIS (AP) — France’s government on Monday unveiled new plans to tighten hunting safety rules but stopped well short of the outright ban that many activists had been hoping for.

Ecology Minister Berangere Couillard announced proposed reforms that would outlaw hunting under the influence of alcohol and drugs, enhance other safety rules and provide extra protections for walkers and residents in areas used by hunters.

The minister did not elaborate on the drugs and alcohol ban, and anti-hunting activists voiced skepticism as to how it could be enforced.

Hunting safety became a hot topic in France after the 2020 death of Morgan Keane, a 25-year-old Franco-British man who was shot dead while cutting wood on his own land by hunters who had mistaken him for a wild boar.

The proposed reforms unveiled Monday have been branded as lukewarm by anti-hunting activists, who had been pressing for hunting to be banned for at least one day a week during each season.

The government’s plan requires parliamentary approval before it can be fully implemented.

An outright ban is widely popular in many parts of France. But some observers have said that French President Emmanuel Macron is hoping not to alienate rural constituencies — where hunting remains popular — in a week in which he is scheduled to announce a controversial pension reform.

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