Problems with hunting?

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Problems with hunting?

Post by NigelS » Thu 09 Nov 2017 21:21

Today we met with a very nice couple who have been living in the Pyrenees for 11 years to chat about the pros and cons of moving here. They warned us about the hunters and said they make walking in the countryside dangerous and even have rights to hunt on your land.

Alarmed, we made an internet search and found ample evidence of dozens of injuries and even deaths every year from hunting äccidents". To our shock and horror, the hunters who injure and kill humans in these incidences rarely face criminal charges and the general advice was to wear orange safety vests when walking or better still, don"t walk at all.

Walking is our favourite past time and the thought of having to give it up during the hunting season (5 or 6 months a year) is deeply disappointing.

What is your experience or opinion about this?

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Post by Richard and Sharon » Thu 09 Nov 2017 22:29

Worrying, but not very. The article:

https://www.french-property.com/news/fr ... se_deaths/

states that 99% of the victims are the hunters themselves.

Wearing bright colours, rather than brown, camo or that sanglier suit you got from ebay, is probably advisable. My view is get out there and enjoy the countryside, but with due caution to the risks from nature, including weather, fire, etc., as well as from other people.

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Post by NigelS » Thu 09 Nov 2017 23:29

yes, that might be true but it could be because the French know better than to venture out in hunting season :(

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Post by Kate » Fri 10 Nov 2017 07:33

You quickly get to know places to avoid during the hunting season. We have walked the region for years and only occasionally been worried if in the garrigue in high grass or bushes where we could be mistaken for game. Head for the coast. There are some fabulous coastal walks - enough to keep you going throughout the hunting season. Enjoy
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Post by russell » Fri 10 Nov 2017 08:50

How many walkers are injured or even killed each year through falls or getting lost and suffering hypothermia etc.?

How many people are killed crossing roads?

You just have to be sensible in whatever you do.

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Post by Pighunter » Fri 10 Nov 2017 09:22

Yes, hunting rights here are normally automatically granted to L'Association Communale de Chasse Agréée (ACCA) 150 metres from a property. The process to stop hunting is long and torturous, the hunters pay millions in damages to farmers each year for crop damage and if you stop hunting on your land you become personally liable for damage to crops in your vicinity.

In my experience most people welcome or even request hunting on their land due to the damage caused by the boar, my lawns are a prime example!

Tragically there are quite a few accidents each year, but bear in mind that every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday hundreds of thousands if not millions of people are out there hunting throughout France. These are the official driven days when boar, deer, and mouflon are hunted driven with rifles. On other days small game can be hunted but normally with shotguns which are less likely to cause serious injury and usually by hunters hunting alone or in twos so the risks are much reduced.

Last year a record 13,000 boar were shot in the PO, the year before was also a record 11,000, their numbers are on the increase, as are the deer and mouflon.

As in any walk of life there are those who respect the rules and those who don't, but in my experience the vast majority of hunts around here are well run. Signs are compulsorily posted in areas where driven hunting is taking place so everyone is aware. I often encounter walkers (frequently English) when hunting and most don't bat an eyelid.

A few simple rules to observe for your safety:
1. Stick to the paths
2. Be seen, wear flouro as the hunters have to
3. If you have a dog put a bell on him, all the hunting dogs wear bells and this is a familiar warning to hunters, if not put a bell on your rucksack
4. Make enough noise to be heard, whistle, talk etc but not too much to disturb the hunt

If you follow these simple rules you should be fine, the rest is down to bad luck, carelessness and statistical probability.

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Post by NigelS » Fri 10 Nov 2017 09:56

Here is quote from a blog about life in France. This particular thread is about hunting:

Well its come round again quicker than ever...waking up to gunshots, having to go out with the dogs as they are terrified...Today was such a lovely day I went for a bike ride whilst the Sunday dinner was cooking, cycling along thinking how lovely it is to be able to do this on quiet roads when...BANG BANG..well I nearly fell off the bike, looked to my left and there in the middle of a field close to houses was the enemy standing there with his huge gun/rifle slung over his shoulder...well my legs were going nineteen to the dozen to get back home to relative safety. I say relative as last year my neighbours horse was shot dead in his front garden moments after I had passed his house with the dog!!! I thought there were laws about where they could hunt and not near houses, but they hunt where they like round here. Is it the same all over France???

There are manymore comments of such nature here: https://www.survivefrance.com/t/hunting-season/10762

What are we to make of this?

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Post by Pighunter » Fri 10 Nov 2017 09:57

Something I forgot to mention - these days most hunters are connected by walkie talkie on driven days (these were illegal for years due to use by poachers) so the participants will always send out a warning should there be walkers, riders or anything requiring special attention.

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Post by Pighunter » Fri 10 Nov 2017 10:15

'What are we to make of this?'

'As in any walk of life there are those who respect the rules and those who don't'

Controls by the Guarde Chasse (hunting police) are becoming increasingly frequent and hopefully will reduce or preferably eliminate those who flaunt the rules. Naturally it is the few tragedies or incidents of stupidity that make the headlines, the vast majority of the hundreds of thousands of hunts carried out properly and safely never hit the headlines.[/quote]

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Post by NigelS » Fri 10 Nov 2017 12:15

It"s not just the danger of walking that worries us. We would like to live as much as possible in the country, possibly in an isolated house.

The thought of being woken up by gun shots with hunters walking and shooting on your land does not appeal to us in the least.

The problem is to gauge how much this actually happens or if this just a storm in the teacup (e.g. our brain).

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Post by Pighunter » Fri 10 Nov 2017 12:24

Really the only way to find out is to ask the owners/neighbours, the latter are probably better as they are more likely to give you an honest answer rather than tell you what you want to hear.

Warning, do not be precious about your land here, this is not the UK where the landowner is God and all incomers are trespassers. Many people walk, hunt, collect mushrooms, mountain bike and generally enjoy the countryside and feel they have the right to do so even if in some circumstances they do not!

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Post by kenny » Fri 10 Nov 2017 12:32


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Post by martyn94 » Fri 10 Nov 2017 12:46

Pighunter wrote:'What are we to make of this?'

'As in any walk of life there are those who respect the rules and those who don't'

Controls by the Guarde Chasse (hunting police) are becoming increasingly frequent and hopefully will reduce or preferably eliminate those who flaunt the rules. Naturally it is the few tragedies or incidents of stupidity that make the headlines, the vast majority of the hundreds of thousands of hunts carried out properly and safely never hit the headlines.
[/quote]

I don’t find hunting a particularly admirable recreation: I have a certain distaste for it after a good friend managed to get his head blown off with a .410 (though not while out hunting). If anyone gives me some game I swallow my scruples. But if you’ve ever ridden round Hyde Park Corner, say, going for a bike ride on a Sunday in the country is a rest cure.

In Port-Vendres I am probably protected from even the most irresponsible hunters. But I spent most weekends over 20-odd years in deepest Normandy, which was invested by hunters every Sunday in the season. It’s a bit disconcerting at first, if you are a townie like me. And the hunters could be a bit cavalier about the safety zone around my house.

But you soon get used to it, particularly as in my case you had to go past them to go anywhere at all. They managed to shred my telephone cable a couple of times over 20 years, but I never felt in any great personal danger. And I suspect neither did the game: there was a very pretty family of partridges which lived near my postbox and seemed to survive pretty well from year to year. I suspect that it is was cutting down the hedge that did for them. Which is an incidental advantage of hunting: they are a small pressure against the impoverishment of our flora and fauna.

It’s sensible to pick where you go: I rarely dared what was otherwise my favourite walk through the woods. But in the end I mostly just felt sympathy: they looked so cold, and so bored (they were waiting, usually vainly, for driven deer). And also amusement: all French hunting dogs are called “Viens iciâ€￾, but still they don’t respond.
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Post by martyn94 » Fri 10 Nov 2017 13:07

Pighunter wrote:Really the only way to find out is to ask the owners/neighbours, the latter are probably better as they are more likely to give you an honest answer rather than tell you what you want to hear.

Warning, do not be precious about your land here, this is not the UK where the landowner is God and all incomers are trespassers. Many people walk, hunt, collect mushrooms, mountain bike and generally enjoy the countryside and feel they have the right to do so even if in some circumstances they do not!
I remember, many years ago, reading Nice Matin on a holiday in the Var. It was that time of year, and there was much outrage from readers about people coming over the border to pick “theirâ€￾ ceps (described as a “ramassage industrielleâ€￾). There was a discussion, entirely serious, about whether it was permissible to shoot them. The answer, as you imply, was No.

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Post by martyn94 » Fri 10 Nov 2017 13:37

[quote="]
4. Make enough noise to be heard, whistle, talk etc but not too much to disturb the hunt

If you follow these simple rules you should be fine, the rest is down to bad luck, carelessness and statistical probability.[/quote]

I remember years ago going for a walk past some guys who were waiting for driven deer. I stalked past them as silently as I could, thinking I might put their game off, and one of the regulars (a notably miserable-looking guy) said, roughly translated, “you might at least have said “Bonjourâ€￾ “.

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Post by Pighunter » Fri 10 Nov 2017 13:54

Shooting stag in garden - ridiculous and deserves to be condemned unless for purely humane purposes.

Mushroom picking generally illegal, especially on an industrial scale, but everyone does it.

Cold and bored yes, sometimes I wonder what I am doing out there especially when the Tramontane is blowing up a storm and you can go for months without seeing anything. Contrary to popular belief it is not all about killing something but also the oneness you have with nature and the things you see while you are out there for hours on end. And a good day out with the locals who are like a big family.

Benefits - the plate of wild boar in cream and wild mushroom and mustard sauce I just finished off (and Bullet enjoyed too!)

Hunting dogs, quite right, my Bullet is a typical Jack Russell with selective hearing and a will of steel. Fearless, 100 kilo boar no obstacle and he bears the scars of several tussles with angry boar, but it is still the ONLY thing he is happy to get up at 5am for, sometimes I think his tail will fall off it wags so long and hard!

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His choice and mine but not for everyone, I know.

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Post by martyn94 » Fri 10 Nov 2017 14:41

NigelS wrote:It"s not just the danger of walking that worries us. We would like to live as much as possible in the country, possibly in an isolated house.

The thought of being woken up by gun shots with hunters walking and shooting on your land does not appeal to us in the least.

The problem is to gauge how much this actually happens or if this just a storm in the teacup (e.g. our brain).
It’s a bit like worrying whether your neighbour will have a cock crowing: if you want to live in the countryside (or the town for that matter), you have to cope with the sound-effects, whether they appeal to you or not. After a while they get to seem familiar, even pleasant (“Oh gosh, it’s that time of year again: how time fliesâ€￾). Like cuckoos in April, if you are lucky enough to have them.

I’ve always understood, though I haven’t confirmed on a very brief search, that they can’t start until 0900, so you won’t be woken by gunfire unless you’ve slept in. Pighunter will know.

As to how much it happens, I can only speak for one remote house (a long way away from here): the answer is Yes, quite often on a Sunday in the season, for what it’s worth. Has it distressed me? No. It’s not unpleasant to me to see and hear people trying to enjoy themselves, even if what they are doing leaves me cold. But then I’m not a vegetarian.

I’d be more interested in knowing whether I’m going to be near a pig farm (or even not very near, if you’re downwind).

More generally, what is this desire for remote houses all about (you are not the first person looking for one recently)? I had one, and enjoyed it enormously when I spent the other five days of the week in London. But full-time, it pretty soon lost its charm. Why live here if you are not really going to live in France at all?

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Post by Gus Morris » Fri 10 Nov 2017 15:34

My understanding (subject to correction) about hunting is as follows:

-It is restricted to certain days of the week. The weekend and also Wednesday so that school children can participate.

-Hunters maintain feeding stations in the countryside to encourage their prey to stay in the locality

-Sanglier meat cannot be sold commercially

- Sanglier numbers are increasing because the natural food chain has been disturbed and they have no natural predator other then man. Who effectively farms them anyway.

-Deaths during hunting can now lead to a criminal prosecution. Hence the hi-vis gear. Which can be bought in Decathlon at their hunting, shooting and fishing store!

In the same vein FR3 are big fans of the Corrida which they promote enthusiastically. Despite the fact that it is now effectively banned in Catalunya.

So the hunters and bullfighters can publicly slaughter animals in an inhumane manner while enjoying full legal immunity.

On the other hand woe betide anybody who kills a dog that attacks them while walking in the street, or takes action against domestic cats infesting their property and killing the wildlife. The animal rights brigade will crucify you.

Gus

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Post by martyn94 » Fri 10 Nov 2017 17:36

Gus Morris wrote:My understanding (subject to correction) about hunting is as follows:

-It is restricted to certain days of the week. The weekend and also Wednesday so that school children can participate.

-Hunters maintain feeding stations in the countryside to encourage their prey to stay in the locality

-Sanglier meat cannot be sold commercially

- Sanglier numbers are increasing because the natural food chain has been disturbed and they have no natural predator other then man. Who effectively farms them anyway.

-Deaths during hunting can now lead to a criminal prosecution. Hence the hi-vis gear. Which can be bought in Decathlon at their hunting, shooting and fishing store!

In the same vein FR3 are big fans of the Corrida which they promote enthusiastically. Despite the fact that it is now effectively banned in Catalunya.

So the hunters and bullfighters can publicly slaughter animals in an inhumane manner while enjoying full legal immunity.

On the other hand woe betide anybody who kills a dog that attacks them while walking in the street, or takes action against domestic cats infesting their property and killing the wildlife. The animal rights brigade will crucify you.

Gus
I was almost with you, in a much less impassioned way, until your last couple of paras. I think that the comparison between a bullfight and shooting boars is a false one, unless boar hunters set out to torture their targets, which I don’t imagine they do. They may not always be Annie Oakley, but I imagine they try to be. It would be interesting to know how much of it actually gets eaten: Pighunter may know. Certainly I have always eaten any sanglier which came my way, very rarely.

But it was your last para which got me. I would certainly try to defend anyone (including me) being savaged by a dog (and god knows it happens, though happily very rarely except on Merseyside). But can you really point us to anyone who has suffered adverse legal consequences for doing so?

And as for cats, I don’t understand what you mean by “taking actionâ€￾ against them. Cats, and especially feral cats, do what they do. If you try to harm them, your neighbours will hate you even if the law has nothing to say.

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Post by Allan » Fri 10 Nov 2017 17:58

martyn94 wrote: And as for cats, I don’t understand what you mean by “taking actionâ€￾ against them. Cats, and especially feral cats, do what they do. If you try to harm them, your neighbours will hate you even if the law has nothing to say.
Isn’t that Gus’s point, cats are legally free to roam yet are generally disgusting nuisances that use other people’s property as a toilet, damage gardens and destroy wildlife. Yet if you object, you are considered a pariah.

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Post by martyn94 » Fri 10 Nov 2017 18:59

Allan wrote:
martyn94 wrote: And as for cats, I don’t understand what you mean by “taking actionâ€￾ against them. Cats, and especially feral cats, do what they do. If you try to harm them, your neighbours will hate you even if the law has nothing to say.
Isn’t that Gus’s point, cats are legally free to roam yet are generally disgusting nuisances that use other people’s property as a toilet, damage gardens and destroy wildlife. Yet if you object, you are considered a pariah.
I still ask the question: what did Gus mean by taking action against cats? I am not in the least a “cat personâ€￾, and I have property, and a garden. And I “objectâ€￾ in a theoretical way to them shitting in my garden. But that’s what they do, and it’s quite fascinating to watch them doing it: they are very fastidious if it weren’t your garden. But where would objecting ever get you, even if it were socially acceptable? It’s like objecting to the sun rising in the east. My theory is that if you can’t stop them without harming them, you might as well enjoy their presence, which I find quite nice: better in any event than having to feed and water them as well. Your experience may vary.

As for wildlife, I only ever see the odd dead pigeon. Which probably proves that I’m not very observant, and am insufficiently sympathetic towards pigeons.

Which is not to say that I’d object to having the feral cats culled, if they need to be. Ask at your mairie: though as you imply it’s pretty toxic polically.
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Post by Webdoc » Fri 10 Nov 2017 20:50

Cats are just doing what Mother Nature intended. They're not intentionally cruel, they're just top of the food chain. Few people hate Simba even though he occasionally eats Bambi. Cats are just smaller, and more numerous.

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Post by Allan » Fri 10 Nov 2017 20:56

Webdoc wrote:Cats are just doing what Mother Nature intended. They're not intentionally cruel, they're just top of the food chain. Few people hate Simba even though he occasionally eats Bambi. Cats are just smaller, and more numerous.
It is not the cats that I object to, it is the owners who feel that it is right to inflict their nuisance animal on others.

As far as the food chain is concerned, humans are pretty well at the top, so why the fuss over foxes, sangliers and bulls for that matter.

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Problems with hunting

Post by Sus » Sun 12 Nov 2017 10:18

I think the problems with hunting are exaggerated, yes accidents do happen but there is also a lot of hunting going on. Our experience is that the hunters are courteous, they will let you know and ask whether they can hunt over your land. You do need to be used to the noise, but it does come with living in an isolated house. Our dog and horses are used to it, they still flinch a bit but it works fine. It is also good to remember that you somewhat need the hunters, especially if you live in an isolated house, boars will easily destroy any garden around your house in one night. They also come so close to your house that you need to be careful with your dog so that they dont go chasing after them in the dark.

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Post by russell » Sun 12 Nov 2017 11:29

Gus Morris wrote:
-Sanglier meat cannot be sold commercially
I hadn't realised that. It explains why it is never seen in supermarkets and why I have to go to Spain if I want some.

How come supermarkets can sell French made sanglier paté? The manufacturers must buy it commercially.

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Post by Allan » Sun 12 Nov 2017 12:43

Gus Morris wrote:
-Sanglier meat cannot be sold commercially

Gus
I don’t think this is correct, viande de sanglier is widely advertised on-line and by supermarkets such as Carrefour.

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Post by Gus Morris » Sun 12 Nov 2017 15:43

Allan wrote:
Gus Morris wrote:
-Sanglier meat cannot be sold commercially

Gus
I don’t think this is correct, viande de sanglier is widely advertised on-line and by supermarkets such as Carrefour.
These links may explain the current situation

www.lamaisondugibier.com/nos-produits-liste.php?

www.ladepeche.fr/article/2003/12/19/292 ... anger.html

Gus

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Post by Allan » Sun 12 Nov 2017 16:07

Gus Morris wrote:
Allan wrote:
Gus Morris wrote:
-Sanglier meat cannot be sold commercially

Gus
I don’t think this is correct, viande de sanglier is widely advertised on-line and by supermarkets such as Carrefour.
These links may explain the current situation

www.lamaisondugibier.com/nos-produits-liste.php?

www.ladepeche.fr/article/2003/12/19/292 ... anger.html

Gus
The links don’t really explain anything, the first says that sanglier meat sold in shops is farmed (without the claim of a legal obligation). The second says that if wild sanglier meat is sold to shops or restaurants by hunters then it must first be checked for parasites.

Either way, it is clearly available in shops.

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Post by Pighunter » Mon 13 Nov 2017 11:06

Responding in reverse order:

Game meat can only be sold into the food chain if it has been lab tested due to the parasites which can be found in it. The majority is consumed by hunters or given away to friends, old peoples homes etc It should be frozen for a minimum of 6 months and well cooked, not eaten pink. Boar is also farmed commercially for the food chain.

All of the boar except the guts, lungs and skins is normally eaten. The tongues are very good, some make fromage de tete with the heads and believe it or not the testicles (which take a lot of preparation) are the best bit!

The position regarding hunting days is as set out in a previous reply in this thread.

There is very little feeding here although it is common practice in Eastern Europe where hunting is more commercial and they have large feeding stations. Here the hunting is communal rather than commercial and more of a pest control exercise. There is plenty of natural and cultivated food around anyway, acorns, chestnuts, nuts and of course grapes and other crops, and the boar cover large distances to find their favourite meals.

Apart from lynx, the only other main predator for boar are wolves and there aren't many left. The fire across the border a few years ago pushed a lot of boar to our side and the numbers shot doubled as a result. Climate change means a higher survival rate for young. The biggest factor is that the Spanish let their domestic pigs roam free, they have interbred with the boar who are now having 2 litters a year instead of one. This means each sow is having 8-10 piglets per year and the population can increase by 4-5 times its numbers each year if they are not controlled.

Quite rightly the law holds individuals responsible for their actions and prosecutions result.

I do not know any hunter who enjoys seeing their quarry suffer. The aim is to despatch the animal as quickly and humanely as possible. Wounded boar are very dangerous to humans and dogs alike. The majority are finished with one shot, but bearing in mind they can be running at 30mph it takes considerable skill, and if a boar is wounded it will be finished off at the earliest opportunity.

There is no comparison to bullfighting. I went to see a bullfight to make my own mind up about it and won't be going back. Finding and shooting an animal cleanly as part of a game management plan in a wild environment where it is very well equipped to escape and frequently does, and is not held captive is one thing. To introduce an animal to an enclosure and torture it to death purely for entertainment is something entirely different.

Apart from duck shooting, hunting in France can only take place between dawn and dusk so during daylight hours.

I live remotely and love it but like hunting it is not for everyone!

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Post by martyn94 » Mon 13 Nov 2017 15:21

Allan wrote:
Webdoc wrote:Cats are just doing what Mother Nature intended. They're not intentionally cruel, they're just top of the food chain. Few people hate Simba even though he occasionally eats Bambi. Cats are just smaller, and more numerous.
It is not the cats that I object to, it is the owners who feel that it is right to inflict their nuisance animal on others.

As far as the food chain is concerned, humans are pretty well at the top, so why the fuss over foxes, sangliers and bulls for that matter.
You obviously know your own situation, but are you sure they have owners in the first place? I ask because all but one of the half-dozen or so cats which visit my terrace and (smallish) flowerbeds are feral: the exception belongs to a next-door neighbour, and looks exactly like Sylvester the cat in the cartoons of my youth. Both factors seem good reasons to be indulgent.

When I first moved in, I thought Oh Hell, I’ll have to feed them. My earlier house in remotest Normandy came with a family of feral cats which already lived there, including acquired rights to lie around my woodstove in the winter. I spent the next 17 years trying to look after them: if I didn’t, there was nobody else to do so. It’s a very strange relationship, but after the first decade or so you become quite fond of them. As it turned out, I had no need to fear down here: half my neighbours, near and far, were already feeding them.

If they are feral, there may be hope, at least in the long term. There’s a voluntary organisation in PV which captures feral cats and gets them vaccinated and neutered (and then lets them loose again). If there’s an equivalent near you, it might be worth finding them. Though I guess new ones might move in: I had to leave food for mine outside, so I ended up feeding half the feral cats in 76 (plus a few hedgehogs, which was pleasant).

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