Willy Schraen, president of the National Federation of Hunters, in his office in Issy-les-Moulineaux -
Eight Internet users are summoned to court for "threats of violence and death" through social networks.
They are suspected of having harassed, in May, the president of the National Federation of Hunters, Willy Schraen.
The boss of the hunters had mentioned that "more than 300 m from any home, the trapping of the cat would be a good thing".
"We are going to come and burn your house", "we are going to bleed you like a pig" ... Eight Internet users are summoned to court on Thursday for "threats of violence and death" through social networks.
They are suspected of having harassed, in May, the president of the FNC (National Federation of Hunters), Willy Schraen, about a position taken on the nuisance of cats.
The court hearing must be held in Saint-Omer, in the Pas-de-Calais, insofar as the complainant is also a municipal councilor of a municipality in the sector.
"The cat kills many more animals than the hunters"
The case begins with an interview on the site of a hunting e-magazine on May 4.
Among the questions asked, one concerns the impact of cats on biodiversity.
Yet aware of being open to criticism, Willy Schraen explains that "the cat kills many more animals than hunters" and that "more than 300 m from any home, cat trapping would be a good thing".
The argument is not without merit since scientific studies - mentioned in particular in an Arte documentary,
The cat, this cute killer
- show that the multiplication of stray cats does indeed represent a danger for the natural balance of wildlife. .
Surge of hate
Yet the hunter's words spark the ire of animal advocates.
The statement is relayed on the Internet, causing a surge of hatred.
"The threats were taken seriously enough for the gendarmerie to decide to place Willy Schraen and his family under police protection," said a press release from the FNC, which then decided to file a complaint.
The investigations, carried out by the prosecutor of Saint-Omer, quickly made it possible to identify, then to place in police custody, eight suspects.
"The task of the investigators was made easier because we had made note by usher the names and the pseudos of the most virulent Net surfers", specifies Me Denis Delcourt-Poudenx, lawyer of the FNC.
"Societal reflection on this phenomenon of hatred on the Internet"
However, the latter was surprised to find that the majority of defendants did not even know who Willy Schraen was.
“They did not see the show and let themselves be mobilized by anti-hunting influencers who took the comments out of context,” he denounces.
This trial should also provide a societal reflection and have an educational value on this phenomenon of hatred on the Internet ”
"This trial should help change things in the face of this unbearable situation that unfortunately many citizens who are victims of this permanent violence on social networks", adds Willy Schraen.
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However, justice still has its limits on this kind of file.
According to Denis Delcourt-Poudenx, “other identified suspects will escape this trial”.
"They live abroad and it was getting complicated to summon them to appear," regrets the lawyer.
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