Wednesday 23 November 2016

Stopping hunting on your land in France

As this is another subject that keeps cropping up here is a little reminder that you don’t have to have the chasse trundling across your land or through your garden if you don’t want them there. 

It would take far too much space to write everything about the subject, so to keep it simple, we could say that after the revolution hunting became something of a free for all until the main law which relates to the situation now was passed in 1964, the so called “Law Verdeille” named after Fernand Verdeille the senateur who proposed it. This regularised the situation somewhat and gave rights to hunters to form Associations known as d'associations communales de chasse agréées or ACCA which have a contract with the commune, (renewable every 5 years), and gave the rights to hunt on all the territory within that commune in return for an indemnity to control species that cause damage to agriculture or forestry. The only alternative to this was for landowners with 20 hectares or more to create an area of private hunting.  There is also a requirement for an ACCA to “set aside” a minimum of 10% of “their” territory as hunt free zones, a rule which is frequently operated in a cynical manner placing these zones where no one would or could hunt anyway.  The  main flaw in this law was that it didn’t give the choice or right to landowners to withdraw their land from hunting completely.

This changed with the French bill n°2000-698 of 26th July 2000 which amended the rural code allowing owners opposed to hunting to withdraw their land from the ACCA, thus giving them the opportunity to create a "wildlife sanctuary" or hunt free zone. This change in law was brought about by a case brought before the European Court by a group of landowners and on 29th April 1999, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that the Law Verdeille was incompatible with the rights of a private landowner in a case that was defended and lost by the French State. This still doesn’t allow for someone who is not in principle against hunting but simply wants to prevent it taking place on their land to do so as they have to be willing to give up the right to hunt themselves anywhere in France, as a person using this law can not be in possession of a Permis de Chasse, (hunting permit).  

Should anyone wish to prevent hunting and hunters on their land see this link - Stopping hunting on your land in France