Proposal to ban alcohol for French hunters provokes wrath of hunting lobby

The proposal would see the same rules on drinking apply to hunters and motorists

A proposal to ban French hunters from drinking while out in the fields provoked a furious response from the country’s hunting lobby. Legislation proposed on October 3 aims to reduce hunting accidents which resulted in seven deaths last year.

The proposal was drafted based on the findings of an inquiry. The inquiry was held in response to petitions demanding tighter hunting regulations after 25 year old British Morgan Keane was accidentally killed by a hunter in 2020. During the inquiry, a cross-party committee investigated French laws on hunting and gun ownership, and observed a hunt before devising a proposal.

Legislation would subject hunters in France to the same rules as drivers on blood alcohol levels. Penalties for intoxicated hunters would be the same as for motorists.

But hunting organisations criticised the report and lamented its ‘stigmatisation’ and ‘caricaturing’ of hunters. The National Hunters’ Federation said proposed legislation was “neither appropriate nor realistic”. The French hunting lobby is powerful and counts on President, Emmanuel Macron as a vocal supporter.

Report findings and the proposal will now be debated before it reaches parliament.