elected officials and associations are calling for an end to groundhog hunting

For some animal protection associations, hunting can no longer be justified and must be prohibited.

120 elected officials and around twenty associations are up in arms against marmot hunting in the departments of Hautes-Alpes and Alpes de Haute-Provence. An open letter, asking for its ban, was sent to the new Minister for Ecological Transition and Territorial Cohesion, Christophe Béchu.

The mayor of Sisteron Daniel Spagnou as well as the deputy LFI of the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence Léo Walter, are signatories.

“Decrease of the snowpack”

In the Hautes-Alpes, traditional hunting is open from September 10 to November 10, weekends and Wednesdays. However, it is forbidden to dissuade the animal, which is currently in the hibernation phase.

The members of the association for the protection, study and promotion of marmots (APEVM), signatories of the open letter, explain that the animal is under great pressure due to the effects of climate change.

“The decrease in the snowpack no longer protects the animal from winter temperature drops, which reduces its fat reserves, endangers it and prevents it from reproducing”, explains the president of the association Monique Constant. .

In the Eygliers reserve, the number of specimens declines from year to year. For Annette Lebreton, member of the association for the protection, study and promotion of marmots, hunting can no longer be justified and must be prohibited.

“Traditionally, the groundhog was hunted because its flesh was eaten, she explains. Today, it has been understood that eating groundhogs is no longer a necessity for anyone. So, in the context As we see, we think that it is no longer very useful to maintain a marmot hunting permit.

For its part, the Hautes-Alpes hunting federation refuses to comment. Contacted by BFM DICI, hunters minimize the impact of hunting on this animal which would be threatened above all by the presence of herd guard dogs in the mountain pastures.

Jérémie Cazaux and Solenne Bertrand

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