NEWS AND COMMENT: I don’t think anybody has said it but when I read the story about a French hunter who shot a British guy living in France because the hunter thought that he was shooting a boar, I wonder whether he did it deliberately under the cover of making a mistake.
I’ll explain what I mean. Morgan Keane, 25, was a Franco-British man living in the village of Calvignac, in the Lot, southern France. He was out collecting firewood at dusk with a chainsaw. 100 yards away was a 33-year-old French hunter who thought he saw a wild boar. He shot at the “boar” and shot dead Mr Keane.
The man had obtained his hunting licence in May and the shooting I believe took place in December of last year. He told the police that he had seen something dark in the woods and assumed that it was a boar. In essence he made a mistake but if he’s found guilty of manslaughter he faces 3 years in jail unless the police decide that he failed to show sufficient safety precautions in which case he could serve 5 years in jail.
So he is likely to get a three-year jail sentence on conviction which no doubt will be reduced on good behaviour and he’ll be out in 18 months, perhaps. Perhaps I’m being cynical but if this man deliberately targeted Mr Keane because he was British and the man does not like British people then that would be murder with a far longer sentence on conviction.
I am not suggesting in any way that this man did deliberately target Mr Keane. There is no evidence to suggest that he did but I’m putting forward the possibility that it might be the way it happened because most of the French people who hunt in the south of France are working class people and they’ve been described as xenophobic.
Mr Keane’s father complained in 2017 to local hunters that they were shooting dangerously close to the family house. They didn’t move away but continued to hunt in the vicinity of his home out of xenophobia, he said. He said that, “If you are not born of parents from the Lot, you are seen as a stranger and if, what is more you are English, you are most certainly not considered as ‘one of us'”. With that attitude, if it is accurate, you can see how the shooting might have been deliberate. People are inherently tribal and add to that a degree of ingorance and anything is possible.
Mr Keane was born in France and his mother was French. Two members of the local hunt saw Mr Keane outside his home on that fateful day yet failed to alert other hunters. His unnecessary death has sparked a debate in France over hunting. There are opponents to this long-standing pastime who say that it should be banned altogether because of animal welfare issues.
Mr Keane’s family accept that it will continue. It will be very hard to stop because it is such a long-standing traditional pastime but in my opinion it is cruel and there is no place in the modern world for any hunters of any kind. It is time that people learned to live with nature and respect nature. It is time that people respected other animals and gave them a chance to live in their natural habitat rather than using them as non-sentient beings to entertain themselves in this bloodthirsty pastime which simply cannot be justified in the modern world.