On October 21, an unusual and shocking scene played out in a village just north of Paris, France. A group of hunters in Lacroix-Saint-Ouen, pursuing a deer from the nearby Compiègne forest, chased it into a family garden, where they then proceeded to shoot the deer - right in front of horrified neighbors.
Source: Courrier Picard
The deer, terrified and exhausted after being chased for miles tried to find refuge in the garden, where it finally managed to lie down and rest. The hunters alerted local police, who arrived quickly to set up a perimeter to deter anti-hunting protesters and figure out what to do.After nearly an hour of fruitless attempts to get the deer to leave the garden, the hunters, with the permission of the police and the house's absent owners, went into the garden, shot the deer at point blank and dragged its body away.
Donc c'est lui le chasseur qui rentre chez les gens pour tuer un cerf qui lui échappe ? C'est un FDP ou la loi l'autorise ? Ou les deux ? pic.twitter.com/kaU46KNzRd
(Tweet reads: So is this the hunter who goes into people's homes to shoot a deer trying to escape? Did some SOB or the authorities authorize this? Or both?)The leader of the hunt was quickly identified as Alain Drach. Drach immediately tried to defend himself against the insults and threats he'd been receiving online following the event, which was reported on widely throughout France. Some of his remarks wererelayedby The Huffington Post:
We hit its thighs. Stop getting so worked up. The animal was becoming more and more aggressive. A cornered deer – Like him - is dangerous. Some people might be thinking of Bambi's father here, and think that he would have left quietly by himself. But do you know that those murderous antlers – we call them the forest's first defense – are basically 25 or 30 cm long knives? I've been to hospital 3 or 4 times [after hunts]. You could say I was asking for it. I don't blame the deer. It's just a fact.
Source: Courrier Picard
However, the town's mayor, Jean Desessart, expressed his indignation, saying that hunting is illegal in the local area. Police officers who were at the scene justified their decision to let the hunters shoot the animal, despite the fact that the house's owners were reluctant to let them shoot the deer on their property:
The hunters responsible for the deer being in the garden must finish their hunt.
This new scandal might weaken the status of organized hunts involving hunters on horseback and packs of dogs in France, which are already falling more out of favor, being seen as an outdated, aristocratic and cruel pastime. Like in the U.K., it is generally only still practiced by those whose families have an ancestral history to the hunt.
This is also not the first time that Alain Drach, the so-called 'master of the hunt', has been involved in public uproar over hunting. Just one month earlier, a video taken by a cyclist showed one of his hunts ending in a young stag being eaten alive by a pack of dogs. The incident allegedly resulted in Drach being sent over 150 death threats by members of the public.
Source: Eric Dubos Photographie
Anti-hunting groups are organizing protests to put pressure on local and national officials to ban the practice.Watch a video of the deer trapped in the garden below:
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