Accredited communal hunting associations
The Verdeille law, named after a senator who was also a hunting specialist, was introduced to better organize hunting and encourage the development of game management.
a law applied on demand
Not all municipalities have an ACCA. The association is found in 70 French départements, set up after approval from the departmental council, the chamber of agriculture and the hunters federation. One French municipality in three has freely opted for an ACCA. Its existence is not therefore systematic.
An accredited communal hunting association (the ACCA) covers a clearly limited area and is open to hunters as a democratic structure. To manage hunting matters properly, the ACCA’s territory covers the entire municipality.
Therefore, there can only be one ACCA per municipality. In addition, the ACCA is based on an agreement of 60% of the land owners representing 60% of the municipality's surface area.
Finally, to encourage wildlife development, each ACCA has to set aside at least 10% of its territory as a hunting reserve.
The purpose of an accredited communal hunting association
- Upholding a democratic form of hunting
- Ensuring proper technical organization
- Ensuring proper hunting management In other words, working in the territory to encourage the development of game and wildlife species while respecting a real agricultural/silvicultural/hunting balance
- Encouraging its members to learn more about hunting
- Promoting pest control
- Making sure hunting plans are complied with and allocating appropriate resources to them
- Rationalizing the administrative mechanisms while complying with hunting regulations
- Getting hunters to contribute to the conservation of natural habitats, and wild fauna and flora.
Organization of the ACCA
In France, hunting is permitted as described in Article L.422-10 of the law
- Outside a circumference of 150 meters around residential properties
- On land other than
- - that enclosed with fencing
- - SNCF (railway) right-of-way areas
- - State-owned forests
- - Land where the owners with hunting rights have expressed their opposition and where the surface area in single ownership exceeds the minimum surface areas indicated in Article L422-13 of the law
Private owners’ opposition to hunting
Owners of blocks of land in single ownership and, usually, with a surface area of at least 20 hectares can express their opposition to hunting.
According to hunting regulations, decrees issued by the département may increase this minimum surface area. However, it may not exceed twice the minimum amount. The minimum is lowered for waterfowl hunting.
- Even when they express their opposition to hunting, they can retain their right to hunt if they own a certain surface area of land (l.422-10-3°).
- Opposition to hunting on moral grounds means a land owner can refuse hunting on their land on the basis of their personal beliefs (L.422-10-5°)
Obligations of the land owner expressing opposition
Set up signs on their land stating the ban on hunting (L.422-15)
Destroy or have destroyed any pest animal species and take measures to control the species on their property that cause damage-86.
The hunting reserve
The hunting reserve is an area in which hunting is forbidden, in order to preserve game or wildlife. The ACCA are required to set aside one or several hunting reserves equal to at least one-tenth of their territory’s surface area, except where there is a management plan, a hunting plan or pest control plan Articles R.422-86 and 88
Members of the accredited communal hunting association
- Full membership for people holding a hunting license
- Members from outside the municipality, under certain terms of admission and if they have a hunting license
Subscription fee for full and external members
All hunting members are required to pay a subscription fee, including the hunter/owner of the land; different amounts are payable depending on whether it is full membership or otherwise.
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