Some 10,000 people according to the gendarmerie, 12,000 according to the organizers: an orange tide swept through the streets of Reudon, Saturday, September 18, 2021, responding to the call of hunting federations, foresters, farmers and professionals circus. Coming from all over Brittany and the Pays de la Loire, most of them dressed in their battue chasuble, these thousands of people marched in peace to denounce “Attacks on rurality”.
“It is no longer bearable to accept to see our practices, however legal, called into question by sometimes noisy and violent minorities., launched, just before the departure of the procession, Daniel Douard, president of the regional Federation of hunters of Brittany, from a podium mounted in the middle of a meadow. ” It is even less acceptable to know that your ministry of ecology is working at the slightest opportunity to approach its own decrees to satisfy NGOs whose sole objective is to make us disappear in the name of egalitarianism between the man and animal. “
“Our hunting is one of the most ecological”
Met during the parade, Émilie Kowalski, 48, is a nurse from Vannes who came with her 17-year-old daughter, alongside a hunting crew from Côtes-d’Armor. Unlike the vast majority of protesters, his jacket is green and not orange. “I am in venery outfit, she explains. We meet between 30 and more than 100 people to hunt deer, without a gun, with horses, bikes or on foot, over several tens of kilometers. Once in four on average, we manage to catch up with the animal, which we finish off with a dagger. “
→ ANALYSIS. “Traditional” hunts in the sights
She is demonstrating against “Groupuscules”, such as L214 or the Sea Shepherd association, which it claims claim to have the truth about the environment. “Our hunt is one of the most ecological, because we hunt in packs, just like the wolf that some environmentalists want to reintroduce. Their attitude is completely illogical. “ In solidarity with farmers, who are said to be victims of “agri-bashing”, she believes that the human species has developed in particular thanks to the consumption of meat.
“There aren’t enough hunters! “
A few meters further on, Christophe Bardoul, 50, parades in the company of ten members of the Sainte-Anne-sur-Vilaine hunting society. “We want to be allowed to hunt and that our children can have the same privilege as us. But my 10-year-old son will no longer be able to exercise this right if the ecologists come to power. With the Covid, we have seen people buying houses in the countryside who do not want to hear the rooster crowing or the gunshots. It’s incredible ! “
At his side, Jérôme Delalande, 42, comes from Pierric, in Loire-Atlantique. This truck driver started hunting with the neighbors of his village. Pheasants, hares, partridges, and sometimes a wild boar or a deer. “If there are no more hunters, we will have to have night shots by the game wardens to regulate the populations of wild boars, the number of which is exploding. Before we killed one to two a year, now it’s twenty to thirty, there are not enough hunters! “, he observes.
“Hunting is cultural in France”
“Hunting is cultural in France, supports Daniel Autret, president of the Departmental Federation of Hunters of Finistère, which has 8,000 members. All the municipalities have a hunting society and when they see their population reduce, it is the last association that remains. “
In Finistère, the 50% increase in the number of new permits in 2021 is not enough to lower the average age, which is very high. “We stand in solidarity with our colleagues from the southwest, victims of the ban on certain traditional hunts, he adds. There is green dogmatism that is increasingly difficult to bear. Hunting in France is a very regulated sporting activity, and yet we are attacked by neorurals who do not accept to hear a few gunshots on Sunday morning. “