Prohibit groundhog hunting: elected officials take up the fight in an open letter

This small rodent, very popular with hikers at altitude, is not yet protected in all departments. A hunting practice deemed archaic and denounced by 120 elected officials.

One hundred and twenty elected officials from the departments of Isère, Savoie and Haute-Savoie sent an open letter, this Tuesday, October 11, to the Minister of Ecological Transition, Christophe Béchu, to ask him to remove the marmot from huntable species. , according to information from France 3.

These elected officials highlight the protection of the small rodent and defend its ecological role. “Marmot hunting is a purely recreational hobby which can in no way attempt to justify itself for reasons of regulation or the fight against crop damage. On the contrary, the marmot plays an important ecological role: grazing increases the local plant biodiversity and its burrowing activity contributes to soil aeration, drainage and fertility,” they write.

Already protected in POs

Nearly 1,000 marmots, including 426 in Savoie, were killed in 2021, according to the Association Justice Animaux Savoie (Ajas). The signatories of the letter denounce an archaic practice and recall that Italy banned marmot hunting in 1992. Several departments, including Cantal, Puy-de-Dôme and Pyrénées-Orientales, have already protected these endearing rodents by prefectural order. The ball is now in the minister’s court.

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