“Hunting is the cycle of nature”

A deer on the ground, out of breath, exhausted from hours of hunting, took refuge in a subdivision under construction. These images filmed by anti-hunting activists in Compiègne (Oise) at the end of September circulated in the media and shocked public opinion. An incident that shines the spotlight on a highly criticized ancestral hunting method, where the hunted animal is tracked by a pack of dogs, followed by hunters who deliver the fatal blow.

The practice is troubling, and increasingly associated with animal abuse by public opinion. In a bill reviewed by the Assembly committee on Thursday 1er October, in the end was not retained, the representative Cédric Villani still wanted it to be a direct ban. The hunters defended their practice and dismissed the criticism. Interview with Antoine Gallon, communications manager of the Société de vénerie.

Le Point: Does hunting with dogs still have a place in France in 2020?

Antoine Gallon: Yes, because he has never been alive. We have 390 crew members, 10,000 practitioners supported by 100,000 supporters. It is a real vehicle for encounters and sharing the rural world. Very rapid development of small venery [avec des lièvres, lapins, renards, NDLR] this explosion is allowed. There are 25% of women, ten times more than hunting in general. This is a very sporty search, safe because it is practiced without weapons and family, which is a unique opportunity to meet wildlife. It is open to all, it is even an opportunity for social mixing.

Hunting, isn’t that animal abuse?

This is wrong. Hunting with dogs involves a pack of dogs and the hunted animal. Dogs are our athletes, we take good care of them. As for the animals we hunt, we put them in their animal state for thousands of years: they always have predators, that’s how they evolve. There is a lot of anthropomorphism in the reviews. Animal abuse is leaving your dog in the car during the day or leaving your cat alone. There, it is the cycle of nature.

Also read Barbara Pompili, the minister “trembling”

A bill aimed at banning hunting with dogs was tabled in the Assembly, but was eventually withdrawn during its committee review on Thursday 1er October. Are you worried that this idea of ​​a ban will come back to the table?

There is a great deal of confusion on the subject. I recognize three types of animals. There are pets, for which man has a duty: to take care of them. There are working animals, raised to eat, to dress, to study… Man also has a duty to these species that he creates. And there are wild animals. There, man’s duty is to preserve them. But that doesn’t mean that wild pigs cause car accidents or destroy crops. We cannot control births, so we must control death. But some mix it all up. They want us to treat Bambi’s mother like my pet dog. This confusion is deliberately perpetuated by animalists to serve their ideology.

Polls have shown for many years that the majority of French people, more than 80%, are against hunting with dogs. How do you explain such rejection?

We stay too long in our bubble without communication. It is a rural activity, it is part of the life of rural people, it has always been there. We may have missed the boat in talking to non-villagers who might ask about it. 99% of people have never hunted with dogs. And, whenever you bring someone, the reaction is “ah, well, I didn’t think like that”. Many were seduced. So we have a big job: we have to communicate more with the world, because we are in a context that mixes everything about the relationship between people and animals, which is not in our favor.

A tired deer takes refuge in a building, another shot of a garden under the eyes of local residents… Images of hunting with dogs have been widely reported and have caused outrage in recent years. Do you understand that they are shocking?

Yes, I understand it’s shocking. It is the chaos of the urbanized world of an activity and an animal that has no place there. This happened because the cities conquered the countryside. The subdivision built in Compiègne where the deer took shelter was the forest five years ago. We no longer hunt like in the time of Louis XV: within two years, when we arrive in an urbanized area, we stop hunting and return the animal to the forest. There are three groups of relentless people in France who are harassing us [les militants d’AVA, qui traquent les veneurs pour filmer leurs faits et gestes, NDLR]. This is an objection expressed in a provocative manner. Hunters are very calm people. Try going into a PSG stand and yelling “Go OM!”, it won’t go over as well. They have an obsession with the time of death. Death is never a good time. If you have to kill the animal, which does not happen every time, it should be quick, it should not suffer. One cannot summarize a day of hunting with dogs in this moment of death. What interests us is everything, watching the animals use tricks to escape their predators, the dogs.

Read also On hunting hunters in the forest of Compiègne

Should hunting change to adapt to today’s world?

We need to explain who we are, what we do and why hunting like that is good. We have to consider our environment, the inhabitants of the places we are looking for and their preferences. These are the two pillars of what one should wear: explanation and conduct that is blameless.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *