120 elected officials demand the banning of this archaic practice

When we think of hunting, we usually imagine a group of hunters and dogs tracking game, wild boar, deer and rabbits in a forest or wood. But did you know that hunters also raged in the mountains? One of their targets is none other than the groundhog. This animal can be hunted legally since the second Sunday of September and will still run until November 12. But this “archaic” practice, according to an association, could soon disappear. Explanations.

Hunting the marmot is authorized in France. But for some people sensitive to the animal cause, this practice is considered “archaic” and France must therefore put an end to it. For this, an army of citizens but also of elected officials has committed to this cause.

Recently, at the beginning of September, the veterinarian and LREM deputy for the Alpes-Maritimes, Loïc Dombreval, wrote to the prefect of the Alpes-Maritimes to ask him to modify his decree, authorizing marmot hunting on his territory.

(…) it seems incongruous to maintain the authorization to practice such hunting, concerning only a tiny minority of hunters and having the sole aim of satisfying an extremely marginal gastronomic practice.

Loïc Dombreval, veterinarian and LREM deputy for the Alpes-Maritimes

The Justice Animals Savoie association is behind a petition, signed by more than 62,000 people, at the time of publishing these lines.

While the marmot is a threatened animal (by global warming, by human activity, by urbanization, by patous and hikers’ dogs ..) while it is an emblematic animal of the French mountains that does not harm to no one, this small rodent continues to be hunted for the simple cruel pleasure of a handful of individuals. (…) This is the reason why we demand from the government the pure and simple prohibition of this practice from another age.

Justice animals Savoie

120 elected against marmot hunting

To these 62,000 people are now added 120 elected French men and women. All of them are signatories of an open letter, sent by Animal Justice Savoie to the attention of the Ministry of Ecology, can we read in The Parisian. Their request is the same: to put an end to the hunt for groundhogs.

“We want our children to have the opportunity to come across living marmots in our mountains, as we had the opportunity to do ourselves, and not a few specimens in animal parks or stuffed in museums”write in particular the signatories.

For his part, the president of the federation of hunters of Savoie, Régis Clappier, is not ready to give in. He defends in The Parisian a hunt “ancestral” and “captivating” while, “in rural families”according to him, “Marmot stew with polenta is a very popular dish”. The burrows of marmots are also responsible, according to him, for “mechanical breakage” with farmers in the region: “Some tractors have already overturned while driving in a hole”he says again.

According to the NGO Justice Animals Savoie, 426 marmots were killed in 2021 in Savoie and around a thousand throughout France. In Italy, marmot hunting has been banned since 1992.

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