Tuesday, 18 November 2014

France's wild boar hunting condemned as a 'bloody spectacle from another age'

By Rory Mullholland, Paris

11:26PM GMT 17 Nov 2014

Animal rights activists are up in arms about a form of "hunting" that is becoming increasingly popular in France that involves releasing a wild boar into an enclosure and setting Argentinian hunting dogs loose to chase and kill it.

Fans of the practice are believed to be coming to France from abroad to partake in the events that pit the powerful Dogo Argentino, a mastiff which was used to hunt pumas in Argentina, against boars that stand little or no chance of surviving.

Aspas animal rights group says it does not have figures to show how widespread such events are, but believes they take place regularly and are growing in popularity.

It said there were three recent combats in the Var department in Provence alone and condemns the practice as a “bloody spectacle from another age”.

The legality of these events is a grey area in France.

Hunting with dogs is banned across much of Europe, including in Britain, but in France it is still a popular pastime, as is bullfighting in the southern regions, and it faces little opposition from politicians or animal rights groups.

The hunts usually involve chasing deer or boar over open countryside or though forests, with the prey having some chance of escaping alive.

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