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In a video, masked men and armed want to "reopen bear hunting" in the Ariège

A preliminary investigation has been opened by the public prosecutor of Foix on Friday after statements by individuals who want to " lead an active resistance in the face of agents of the State ".

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In a video, masked men and armed want to

A preliminary investigation has been opened by public prosecutor of Foix on Friday after statements by individuals who want to " lead an active resistance in face of agents of State ".

" We, mountain people of Ariège, ranchers, hikers, hunters, elected officials, citizens, let's say to State, that's enough. "In a video that is reminiscent of staging of national liberation Front of Corsica, about thirty men wearing balaclavas and armed, shot of night, announce that y are opposed to government policy for management of bears in Pyrenees.

" By introduction of bears from slovenia, and creation of a nursery to propagate, French State put in place a management of territory in which, little by little, re is a limit to men, women of mountain, access, freedom to be, to do, to work, to indicate. The State remained deaf to requests of our seniors, our civic organizations and professional. "We have decided to reopen hunting of bears in Ariège and to lead an active resistance in face of agents of State," concludes anonymous voice and rocky, punctuated by two rifle shots.

" Simagrée of terrorist organization, "

The video, which lasts nearly 2 minutes, was received by several media ariégeois Thursday, September 14, in form of a USB key sent in an envelope anonymously. A preliminary investigation has been opened by public prosecutor of Foix on Friday. The maximum penalty for charge of "involvement with weapons in a crowd by people hiding voluntarily in ir face" is five years in prison, and 75 000 euro fine and ban on possession of weapons. The investigation, entrusted to gendarmerie group of Ariège, will have to "determine if it is not a hoax and what are authors of this video," says ballet (karline Bouisset, prosecutor of Republic.

The prefecture of Ariège has denounced, on his side, " drift pathos in violence and illegality ". "This simagrée as a terrorist organization, if it is not a hoax, is detrimental to all those who defend development of rural areas and mountains," she said in a press release. The préfète of Ariège, Marie Lajus, invites responsible professionals, institutions and policies to " mark ir disagreement with those who cross line of illegality and condemn this new outbreak of violence and use of weapons ".

tense

These images are involved in a climate more tense in Ariège, department that houses majority of 39 bear of pyrenees. On 25 August, four agents of national Office of hunting and wildlife, which were to establish a finding of damage to plantigrade near Auzat, had been greeted by a fifty shots, and " thirty people aggressive ". If se have not been wounded, y shouted "threatening language," and punctured tires of vehicle of officials. A judicial inquiry was opened for "violence with weapons" while minister of ecological transition, Nicolas Hulot, " condemned without reservation this aggression is unacceptable ".

Read more :   In Ariège, presence of a bear made out of guns

on The 29th of August, socialist majority of county council had requested removal of ursidés and ir return to ir country of origin, Slovenia, three days after farmers had blocked access of town of Saint-Girons at time of market. And at beginning of month, mayor of town of Ustou, Alain Servat, was a decree prohibiting "any wandering bear" in his town, to warn of "dangers of animal" and " return State to its responsibility ".

cause behind this fever : growing number of attacks this year, after a decade of stability during which number of bears had yet doubled. According to recent data of prefecture of Ariège, plantigrade has killed 432 beasts, which could add anor 57 in which records have not yet been examined. In 2016, y were 162. An explosion of figures, which can be explained in part by an exceptional event : on night of July 16 and 17, 209 sheep of groupement pastoral du Mont-Rouch, near Couflens, " déroché ", that is to say, fallen of a cliff, frightened by a bear that attacked flock.

" Years of impunity and laxity "

For association for preservation and heritage of Ariege-Pyrenees (Aspap), which brings toger ranchers, hunters and residents opposed to bear, this " video is not surprising, given current climate in mountains ". "We don't know where it comes from, but I don't think it's a hoax ", judge Rémi Denjean, a breeder and member of office of Aspap. The association is said to have " reached out to State ", on Thursday, proposing creation of a zone of presence of massif where bears would be tolerated and an area without predators, favourable to pastoralism.

" This video, although grotesque, contains explicit threats and serious against bears and agents of State ", denounces from his side, Alain Reynes, director of association pays de l'ours-Adet, who defends plantigrade. The activist recalls that " war of demoiselles ", video said y want to raise, was a " resistance to illegal and criminal ", between 1829 and 1832 in Ariège, against State who wanted to reform forest code. "Young people déguisaient in women and molestaient agents of State ", details re.

" This video is part of an escalation of violence that would require a stronger reaction of government. It is result of years of impunity and laxity of State, which is not clear from its policy. Will he give in to threat ? ", he asked. Alain Reynes, as well as or NGO representatives, asks Nicolas Hulot release of new bears, as a priority in Pyrénées-Atlantiques, to "strengn a population that is threatened', and while latest re-introductions date back to 2006, following those of 1996 and 1997. The ministry, for its part, says " consider all options ", adding that" no decision has been made and no timetable is set."

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