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France profonde

Presidential hopeful Nicolas Sarkozy supports hunting to tap the rural vote. Cynical, perhaps, but it will also help France avoid Britain's urban-rural schism

By Tim King   November 2004

“It is deep inside us. A passion.” Our local gravedigger watches his comrades gut a deer on the floor of the Salle de Chasse. “It’s not something a law can stop.” He smiles: “Thank God we’re not English.” Pity mixed with scorn is what most of my neighbours feel about the recent vote to ban fox-hunting in England. Thierry Coste, however, political advisor to the Fédération nationale des chasseurs (FNC), disagrees: “We’re worried,” he told me from his Paris office. “Though if it does happen here, it’ll be done by stealth – banning firearms, for example, for security reasons. In…

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