No truce for the defenders of the animal cause. Bullfighting has already made its way into the parliamentary debate, and indirectly hunting with hounds is also exposed. It was MP Aymeric Caron (Nupes) who waved the red rag at the Palais Bourbon, announcing that he wanted to present an anti-bullfighting bill very quickly. “That bullfighting is an immoral spectacle, a spectacle that no longer has its place in the 21st century, I think this is a point of view that is shared by a majority of French people”, advances the deputy committed for a long time on the themes of the animal cause. The LFI deputy hopes to be able to debate a bill to have it banned “in November”. Summer is bullfighting season in the south of the country.
Without specifying the contours of his future proposal, the deputy who claims to be “anti-speciesist”, wants to modify the Penal Code to punish animal abuse. Examination of the text will thus be closely scrutinized by supporters and opponents of hunting with hounds. This practice, very established in the department of Oise, particularly in the forests of Compiègne, Laigue and Chantilly, is presented like bullfighting as a “tradition”, but also denounced as animal abuse. The text of deputy Caron will be a good test to assess the sensitivity of the new National Assembly on animal issues.
“You can say: ‘It’s a tradition’ but there are traditions that are inhuman traditions”
Arno Klarsfeld, lawyer and writer
The writer and lawyer Arno Klarsfeld also puts a layer on the venery in his latest book “Souls and animals”. In this book where he evokes the values transmitted by his parents, the famous Nazi hunters Beate and Serge Klarsfeld, he evokes the respect due to animals. “There is a conscience in every animal and I would like the world to become more aware of it”he explains in an interview with France Info. “There are things that should disappear in France, such as bullfighting or hunting with hounds”he presses.
For the lawyer, the argument of “tradition” has fizzled. “We can say : “It’s a tradition” but there are traditions which are inhuman traditions. The racists in the countries of the South, in the United States could say: “Yes, but lynching is a tradition”. Or “Gladiator fights are a tradition” and traditions that must disappear”, he argues. “I think some animal rights should be enshrined in the Constitution. This is the meaning of the story. That’s what public opinion is asking for.” Hunting with hounds is systematically described as a “barbaric tradition” by its critics such as the militants of AVA, Abolissons la Vénerie Today, a now national movement, born in the forest of Campagne.
Both anti-bullfighting and anti-hunting activists regularly cite opinion polls. In 2021, an IFOP study commissioned by the Brigitte Bardot Foundation showed that 77% of French people consider that wild animals in nature should have rights. And 86% of them are in favor of banning hunting with hounds. A trend largely in progress: they were “only” 73% in 2005.
The hunting season ended in March. It will resume next month.