The quite incredible saga of French hunting ?accidents? involving French chasseurs (hunters) continues this autumn. Two incidents have been reported in the local newspaper Le Dauphine Libere. The first took place in the Bauges mountains. In this incident a hunter shot dead a horse. He reportedly thought it was a deer! Unbelievable. The second incident was in early October near the ski resort of Meribel. In this case a hunter shot dead a cow.
It makes my blood boil to hear these incidents reported as ?accidents?. As a former British Army officer weapons were a fundamental part of my job. Even during the height of the ?Troubles? in Northern Ireland the use of firearms was very strictly controlled with ?Rules of Engagement? as to when you could and couldn’t open fire. These RoE were summarised on the ?Yellow Card?. Soldiers who fell foul of them could, and did, face court with one or two facing manslaughter charges. You may recall that last autumn two people were shot dead by hunters. In both cases the people concerned were on well-used footpaths. I have yet to hear of criminal cases being brought against the individuals concerned.