While he was spending the morning quietly in his garden, Guy saw about thirty hunting dogs arrive on his fenced land and sow discord in his home. Testimony.
It will now be two years since Guy, originally from Hérault, acquired this plot of land of around one hectare. He now lives surrounded by fields, on the border of the communes of Maravat and Taybosc. A corner of hard-won tranquility to exercise its activity around traditional practices and Chinese medicine.
But Guy quickly becomes disillusioned in the fall of 2021 when a hunting party takes place near his home. “They were really a hundred meters from the fence, I could hear them talking, remembers the owner of the land, the guns made a phenomenal noise, we thought we were in the middle of a war”.
The property was abandoned for twenty years. A situation that could potentially explain the presence of a hunter so close to his property. Guy’s grievances with the town hall of Taybosc had no more impact than that, only an email of a few lines, informing him of the holding of a hunting session every Wednesday.
30 dogs in the garden
Since last fall, nothing to report, until Sunday August 14 morning when Guy was working quietly in the company of a few friends. “I heard screams, howls, barking,” he says. Quickly, it is through small holes in the fence that the canines will make their way to the property.
“It happens that animals like wild boars or deer go through the garden but they didn’t do any damage, there it was running in all directions, there were animals everywhere. They knocked over a lot of things” – Guy .
As the hunting horn sounds to bring the dogs back to their master. The owner of the land goes to meet one of the hunters. But, faced with questions, the latter does not want to know anything, does not indicate his identity and turns back to find his colleagues. The drop too much for Guy judging an attitude “disrespectful”.
He then turns to the mayor of Maravat, who assures him that in the village, there are only individual hunters and that this group must come from neighboring villages.
“We don’t feel safe”
Fortunately, apart from some material damage, the dogs did not attack Guy or his friends. But what worries him the most is the presence of hunters in the area. “It’s not normal that hunts can take place when there is a campsite also below with tourists,” he worries.
For the mayor of the small village of Maravat, Florian Pinos, however, this is an isolated case: “there has never been any particular problem in the town, we get along well with the hunters”.
Can we hunt around a property?
To hunt safely, a code of good conduct exists. Less than fifty years ago, the hunting license did not yet exist. Since its inception, the regulations have continued to evolve. For example, training was introduced by the law of July 24, 2019 and is specified by the ministerial decree of October 5, 2020. Mandatory, it concerns all hunters and covers basic safety rules.
Regarding hunting around dwellings, the question has long been debated. However, under the hunting policy, there is not really a set hunting distance around a residential area. It is above all shooting towards a dwelling or a road that may be prohibited by prefectural order. However, article L 422-9 of the Environmental Code provides that “no one has the right to hunt on the property of others without the consent of the owner or his assigns”. But, in practice, the “Verdeille law” of July 10, 1964, allows hunting on the land of others.
Among other things, it plans to bring together the hunting territories of a municipality within an approved municipal hunting association (Acca). In short, this law grants a right of passage for hunters on private land. However, some land remains excluded from the Acca. This is particularly the case for land located within a radius of 150 meters around any dwelling or surrounded by a fence. These provisions appear in particular in article L 422-10 of the environmental code.
“The number one subject for all the federations remains safety and we also strongly encourage respect for the property of others”, indicates the president of the regional hunting federation, Jean-Pierre Sanson.