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France

Boar stabbed by a child: the 30 Million Friends Foundation calls for a ban on hunting minors


In the north-east of France, a child was pushed by his hunter father to finish off a dying boar with knives. Cruel for the animal and traumatic for the child himself, this act is however allowed by the hunting regulations. The 30 Million Friends Foundation calls for a ban on hunting minors.

A child stabs a wild boar to please his father “. The naturalist Pierre Rigaux denounces, by a video, a barbaric scene. The images are chilling: a child stabs a dying boar several times, torn to pieces by a pack of furious dogs. ” Sting it to the heart… go sting it again… that’s good says the father who immortalizes the moment. The poor animal howls in pain for several minutes before succumbing.

An act authorized by the regulations

This act, as shocking as it is, is allowed by the regulations which authorize minors to practice an act of hunting. Hunters can thus be accompanied by their children, who can themselves – whatever their age – finish off an animal! Because the fact of finishing an animal that is mortally wounded or at bay, that is to say unable to flee, is not considered an act of hunting. A young person under the age of 18 can also handle a gun to hunt, from the age of 15 if accompanied by an adult, and from the age of 16 if he is alone!

Instrumentalizing your child in this way is a form of parental abuse..

Ph. Jaffé – Psychologist, member of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child

However, in the case of the boar killed by the child, the act could be repressed by the penal code. Indeed, if article L. 521-1 of the penal code punishes acts of cruelty and serious abuses exercised only against domestic animals, tamed or held in captivity (again excluding free wild animals), it would not be illogical to consider here that the boar was, within the meaning of these provisions, “captive” since held and blocked by a pack of dogs. It is on this basis that the Nos Viventia association lodged a complaint and made a report to the child protection services. The prosecutor of Châlons-en-Champagne (51) opened a flagrance investigation for “act of cruelty against an animal” as well as for “provocation of a minor to commit an offense” and “moral abandonment of a minor”. The investigation was entrusted to the gendarmerie and the information was forwarded to the juvenile judge for educational assistance. ” Instrumentalizing your child in this way can be akin to a certain parental abuse.warns for his part Philip Jaffé, psychologist and member of the UN Committee for the Rights of the Child, joined by 30millionsdamis.fr. Alerting social services is important. »

Psychological sequelae

Because if it is cruel for the boar, this act is also shocking for the child himself. Some hunters have also expressed their indignation on social networks: Being a hunter, I can only be disillusioned and disgusted by such a video which goes against my hunting values ​​and ethics.laments one of them. We don’t let an animal suffer unnecessarily and I don’t see the point of pushing a child to do that, not to mention the danger for him….. This person has nothing to do in our ranks!!!! Unfortunately, other hunters don’t seem to grasp the potential trauma for the young boy: ” Here is a child who will long dream of this beautiful (sic) act of hunting, a memory that remains engraved (sic) forever!! The child is not afraid as the comments say, it’s just a little complicated with the brambles and the dogs in the middle “, can we read on another comment. Well done kiddo, keep it up. »

Encouraging a child to perform a bloodthirsty act – legal or not – is harmful to his development.

Ph. Jaffé – Psychologist

However, the fact that a child witnesses an act of violence against an animal (a fortiori when he himself is the actor) is far from trivial. Decline in empathy, less sensitivity, detachment from violence… Many psychological consequences are to be feared in an individual confronted, from an early age, with this kind of barbarism: “ Exposing a child to acts of such brutality can contaminate his psycheconfirms Dr. Philip Jaffé. Encouraging him to perform a bloodthirsty act – legal or not – is extremely damaging to his development. Without forgetting the psychological trauma that hunting accidents can cause. In September 2020, a 12-year-old boy saw his 16-year-old half-brother die in front of him, after mishandling his rifle…

And if children are spontaneously empathetic towards animals, those exposed to hunting are likely to get used to this violence, even to take a liking to it: “ Thus, a study published in 2018 in the journal Aggress Behav shows that subjects who have committed acts of animal abuse have the particularity of having been exposed to legal animal killings (including hunting) during their childhoodnotes Dr. Jean-Paul Richier, psychiatrist. They are further characterized by their lack of affective empathy towards animals. Acts of violence can also involve humans. As proof, in the event of early exposure, ” studies report a risk of bullying behavior towards other childrenadds the specialist. Others point to risks of subsequent transgressive conductor even commissions of damage to property of others. »

Prohibit hunting for minors

The 30 Million Friends Foundation asks the Minister for Ecological and Solidarity Transition Christophe Béchu to prohibit minors, not only from hunting with a gun, but also from being able to complete, at the bladed weapon, a wounded or desperate animal. In 2019, a reform proposal aimed at prohibiting the active or passive participation of minors in hunting was crowned with the Jules-Michelet Prize, as part of the University Diploma in Animal Law at the University of Limoges, sponsored by the 30 Foundation. Million Friends. A bill that could inspire the legislator.

The European Court of Human Rights could uphold the rights of the child.

Hélène Barbry – Winner of the Jules Michelet Prize

France would thus join other countries – such as Switzerland, the Netherlands or certain regions of Argentina – which have limited the issuance of hunting permits to adults. In the absence of such a reform, the French legislator could be summoned by Europe. ” Two freedoms are balanced : on the one hand, the freedom to bring your children and have them participate in activities, and on the other, the protection of childrenexplains the winner of the Hélène Barbry prize. Seized in this sense, the European Court of Human Rights could make the right of the child prevail, on the basis of the conventions which protect it. »

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